Review by Ritchie Birnie for MPM
Beyond the Black have been on a gentle incline since they started out in 2014 but with this self titled release things are about to take off massively.
I discovered the band last year, somehow they had gone under my radar until I went to the triple headliner show with Butcher Babies and Amaranthe. Of those three bands Beyond the Black were the band that I was least worried about seeing live. This changed dramatically when Amaranthe pulled out and the other two bands had their sets extended.
I love Butcher Babies so I was in a happy place and more than appeased to give Beyond the Black the benefit of the doubt and boy was my face shut up instantly. I was blown away that night by the show, by the music and by the total grit of a band that live for that stage.
The first song on the album is “Is There Anybody out There?” and this was the opening number of the live show and I can still remember Jennifer Haben standing centre stage with two Florescent lights. A really powerful opening song and the benchmark is set for the album. The only thing to question is the sideshow Bob honking.
“Reincarnation” is next up and with the haunting pipes and lyrical visions you can tell Beyond the Black have grown and learned many a lesson during a lockdown that affected us all. This song is as catchy as hell and has a backbone from fellow Germans in Rammstein with a bloodline of pure norse majesty. It is songs like this that have taken this band to where they are.
The acoustic is out on the opening of “Free Me” and mixed with Jennifer’s beautiful vocals this song builds to a symphonic masterpiece. This is symphonic metal at its zenith and it is fallowed up with the just as powerful “Winter is Coming”. With a title like that I am sure most of us would have revisited a certain TV series over lockdown and like that series this song is just as huge and unlike series seven and eight it does not fall flat on its ass.
The atmosphere is set early on in “Into the Light” and the track soars and with it takes the band to new heights. There is no doubt in my mind this album will project the band to world domination and I will lay odds on their first German number one.
The acoustic is out again on “Wide Awake” and I got a real feel for a Scottish band in Idlewild. This is a beautiful number, it is so simple, so stripped back and so full of angst. This could be on a soundtrack for something like rings of power. You will revisit this song again and again…it stays with you for a very long time.
Dancing in the Dark” is definitely no Bruce Springsteen cover and there is no sighting of Courtney Cox on the horizon either but what there is is an anthem, a song to chant as you march to war. The lyrics and music are so perfectly matched and the story builds and you can actually envisage the film to accompany this song in your head. This is a very powerful traack and loaded with incredible vision.
The synths come out on “Raise Your Head” and lead onto brutal guitars and a solid backbone of sound to build to another anthemic monster of a tune which is only outshone by the last track of the album on “I remember Dying”. Envision the opening credits of Vikings and you have the sonic twin to this track. This is almost spiritual in its affect on you. It gathers every folk song across the whole of Europe, it is Germanic, it is Norse, it is Celtic and it is outstanding
“I Remember Dying” is a defining moment for Beyond the Black. A work of art from a band who are on the cusp of realising their potential. This album is a statement of intent from a band who can write incredible songs, who are fantastic musicians and who can take their vision to a stage and entertain an audience which I can promise you will grow immensely after this release.
Do not miss this album or the chance to catch this band live.
Beyond The Black tracklisting:
- Is There Anybody Out There
- Free Me
- Winter Is Coming
- Into The Light
- Wide Awake
- Dancing In The Dark
- Raise Your Head
- Not In Our Name
- I Remember Dying
- I Remember Dying (Stranger Reprise)
- Wide Awake (Piano Version)
- Raise Your Head (String Version)
The new, self-titled album is out on January 13th. Pre-order/ pre-save: https://beyondtheblack.bfan.link/beyo…
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