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Beyond The Black - Beyond The Black Award winner

Beyond The Black
Beyond The Black
by Kevin Lewis at 27 January 2023, 12:47 PM

BEYOND THE BLACK is a German Symphonic Metal band formed in 2014. Hailing from Mannheim, they bring a Teutonic sensibility to songwriting and performance. There are Power Metal roots embedded in the compositions and Heavy Metal traits mixed in as well. There are even some Death Metal growls from the male vocalists as well. Their self-titled fifth album was released on January 13, 2023, via Nuclear Blast. The album opens with “is There Anybody Out There,” a moderately paced rocker with a really good riff and cool keyboard tones backing it. The vocals are big. The leads are all clean, but the extra backing voices through the chorus take the song to a new level. The bass definitely takes on a heavier role here, sitting just a little farther forward in the mix than with many other bands. The drums are good, a little simplistic at times, but fitting into the composition well.

This album also offers songs like “Free Me,” a heavy Power Ballad. The chorus is big, bold, and really well orchestrated. I love the acoustic guitar mixed in with the various other string instruments. The drums are more bombastic here, going for a more complex phrasing, which I’ll always notice. There are a few growls under the lead vocals, adding a bit more texture to this track. This song is stunning. When I hear, “Into The Light,” I get a bit of WITHIN TEMPTATION. It’s something in the way they structured the song though I can’t put my finger on it. I also mean this as a major compliment. Just imagine Jennifer and Sharon harmonizing. Seriously, imagine how awesome that would sound! I feel the same about “Dancing In The Dark.” Both of those songs have such cool grooves.

Raise your Head” is one of the heavier songs. The keyboards add an ominous tone and when coupled with the heavy bass notes, they give kind of inspire a will to fight, to go on in the face of adversity. The backing vocals are very well done here, running counterpoint to the lead, augmenting the tone of the voices. They conclude the album with “I Remember Dying,” an ethereal, haunted tune. The rhythm is slow and beautifully phrased. The chanting voices under the lead add a lot of depth to the song. This one features a wind instrument floating in an out of the tune some, and something like a hurdy gurdy mixed in with that in a few places. There is a dark, almost Gothic feel to this one.

BEYOND THE BLACK have crafted an excellent album. It has so many different styles beautifully blended together that it you cannot just put them in a single genre. You will hear Gothic and Power and Symphonic Metals, but this album is so much more than just those influences. This is just one of the things that makes BEYOND THE BLACK stand out in a crowded field of killer bands.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Is There Anybody Out There?
2. Reincarnation
3. Free Me
4. Winter Is Coming
5. Into The Light
6. Wide Awake
7. Dancing In The Dark
8. Raise Your Head
9. Not In Our Name
10. I Remember Dying
Jennifer Haben – Lead Vocals/Piano/Acoustic Guitar
Kai Tschierschky – Drums
Chris Hermsdörfer – Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals
Tobi Lodes – Rhythm Guitar/Backing Vocals
Record Label: Nuclear Blast


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