Ryan Murray | Co-Owner | Chief Editor | Contributor
Germany’s Symphonic Metal band, Beyond The Black, are getting ready to release their self-titled effort “Beyond The Black”! While listed as a symphonic metal band, this genre-defying group has seen incredible success since their debut album “Songs of Love and Death” in 2015, holding a spot on Germany’s top 15 for weeks, which eventually led to them being awarded Metal Hammer’s 2015 “Best Debut”.
📸 – Heilemania
Coming in at just 42:00 and just ten tracks long, “Beyond The Black” sees probably the band’s strongest and most cohesive album to date! With influences from symphonic metal, hard rock, folk metal, and more, this album, while written during the darkness of a global pandemic, brings you on a positive and uplifting journey of seeing the light that lies beyond the darkness! During my interview with Jennifer, she states that there were four specific elements covered in the theme of the album – love, loss, humility and battles that we face.
Ripping this new effort wide open with gripping and epic synth strings, colossal soundscapes, beefy riffs and great soloing, “Is There Anybody Out There” sets the tone for what’s to come! Haben’s vocals show her versatility throughout this track, with some really powerful moments.
“Reincarnation” is a really catchy track, reminiscent of Eluveitie’s “The Call of the Mountains”, with pipes, laid back, more folky light acoustic sections and great melodies. This track has got a great hook as well.
Tracks like “Free Me” are hauntingly beautiful with a longing that is heard, not just in the melody, but in Haben’s vocals as well. This pulled back track in tempo has a lot of energy and power to it. Acoustic guitars leading into more riff-like distorted guitars with symphonic layering giving way to some incredible instrumentation throughout this track. For me, this track is about a trusted loved on who we cry out to in a time of darkness to be freed from that darkness and brought into the light. In a time when a global pandemic has changed so much, and where mental health has become more important than ever before, lyrics like the below become even more powerful.
“My love, I want you
To save me from drowning – now
I’m losing my mind here – now
The shadows upon me still grow
The fighting is over – now
Release me from evil – now
Come hold me at last and let go”
Opening with an eerie atmosphere with just keys and strings, “Winter Is Coming” is a stadium-ready track filled with epic soundscapes. While this is a more symphonic driven track, it is incredibly well balanced, with the band’s incredible talent at the forefront.
The anthemic “Into The Light” sees a more hard-rock feel with a great hook and catchy lyrical content and melodies, with Haben’s vocals soaring with power, while tracks like “Wide Awake” sees a more intimate and vulnerable side of her vocals. This track has a more acoustic feel to it, with strings and lightly distorted guitars coming in more prevalently on the second verse throughout the remainder of the track. There’s a well placed solo over Haben’s more powerful side of her vocals on this track towards the end, which is simply beautiful.
Tracks like “Dancing In The Dark” and “Raise Your Head” are powerful messages about pushing through some of the darkest storms in our lives without regret and stepping out to a new version of ourselves without fear.
“Not In Our Name” sees a track speaking out against hate, division and self-destruction! This track has an infectiously contagious sound to it, and for those who are fans of the anime “Demon Slayer”, you might hear some similarities and influences as well!
Closing out this incredible album is the post-apocalyptic “I Remember Dying”. This ethereal, haunting and chilling track, while dark and mysterious, is really quite beautiful. This track reminds me of Wardruna’s “Helvegen”. Surrounded by a light, yet building synth, Haben’s vocals come in eerily leading into an even more eerie harmonizing question – “Do you remember dying here?” Inspirations come from Haben’s interest in score-like arrangements, with Hanz Zimmer being an influence as well.
“Beyond The Black” is clearly the band’s strongest release to date. While considered a symphonic metal band, this band draws from many influences and don’t contain themselves to only one formulated sound. Do yourself a favor and check out this album!