On this album Beyond The Black deliver a mixed bag, it can’t quite decide what it wants to be, pop metal, symphonic metal or something else.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Beyond The Black
LABEL: Napalm Records
SERIAL: NPR 937 DP
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Germany
LINEUP: Jennifer Haben – vocals, piano * Chris Hermsdorfer – guitars, backing vocals * Tobi Lodes – guitars, backing vocals * Stefan Herkenhoff – bass * Kai Tschierschky – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Horizons * 02 Misery * 03 Wounded Healer (feat. Elize Ryd) * 04 Some Kind Of Monster * 05 Human * 06 Golden Pariahs * 07 Marching On * 08 You’re Not Alone * 09 Out Of The Ashes * 10 Paralyzed * 11 Coming Home * 12 I Won’t Surrender (Feat. Tina Guo) * 13 Welcome To My Wasteland
WEBLINKS: Site Link
Beyond The Black are the German symphonic come gothic metal band that I have championed since stumbling upon them back in early 2018. They had been in existence before then, with two prior albums: their 2015 debut ‘Songs Of Love And Death’ and 2016’s ‘Lost In Forever’.
Writing wise, GDM jumped in at the time of their third album ‘Heart Of The Hurricane’ (click tag below). Though a good album, I felt the band were still finding their feet style wise. With this 2020 album ‘Horizons’, it still appears Beyond The Black have yet to settle. Every album has a point of difference and though that can be good in some situations I feel the band haven’t matured enough to warrant chopping and changing around like they have.
I’ll come right out and say it, the material on this album is a mixed bag. It can’t quite decide what it wants to be. Pop metal, symphonic metal or some other sub-genre. For the songs that worked for me, these are far and few between. ‘Misery’ is an overtly pop metal tune which sounds OK but is this really the direction BTB want to head in?
‘Wounded Healer’ features Elize Ryd from Amaranthe. Good to hear Jennifer and Elize as a duo, the tough chorus added steel because the verses weren’t that convincing. Sounding more like a metal band is ‘Golden Pariahs’. Interesting, they move in Amaranthe territory, no doubt due to the tiptronic drum work. This is more like it.
‘Marching On’ features a female/male duet with Jennifer and Chris sharing the role. As expected this takes on an anthem style, so too ‘You’re Not Alone’. ‘Paralyzed’ also struck a chord with some aggressive riffing, the chorus a total blitzkrieg.
As you can sense from the review, this album didn’t hit it out of the park for me. Style wise, they are like a moving target, and incorporate many elements which makes them hard to lock onto. BTB are a decent band, but fans might find it frustrating because some of their songs will appeal while others won’t. Call it musical polarisation if you will. What will album #5 deliver?