Artist: Beyond The Black
Genre: Symphonic Metal / Gothic Metal
Release Date: 19th June 2020
Label: Airforce1 / Universal Music
Founded in 2014, BEYOND THE BLACK were able to get a lot of attention right in the beginning of their career - for example Metal Hammer gave them in 2015 the award for the “Best Debut” with their album ‘Songs Of Love And Death’. Tons of festivals and live shows with popular artists like SCORPIONS, SAXON, POWERWOLF and EPICA followed. Their newest creation, ‘Hørizøns’, just entered the official German album charts on #3 which is a great success. And regardless the restrictions given through the current situation they were able to play two release drive-in car shows in Stuttgart and Oberhausen last week.
The album starts with the given title track ‘Hørizøns’ - a tiny personal confusion I always have when I see words being written with the Scandinavian / Norwegian “ø” - I always try then to pronounce the word the way it should be given the letters and it sounds quite odd. Maybe it’s just me, learning Norwegian for over three years now and absolutely loving this language. While I understand the fascination, I don’t understand the usage of this letter here. Just a personal confusion here. But hey, the unusual way of writing this word for sure gives more attention to it, so I guess, mission accomplished.
But let’s talk about the music. The title track convinces with its strong energy. Jennifer’s variation in the vocals paints a diverse picture and it’s indeed a very catchy song to start with. The classic guitar solos - why reinventing the wheel when there is so much to play around with? ‘Misery’ reminds me more of the second half of the 2000s - very decent track that has an undeniable Pop influence - a melodic, emotional and bloody catchy tune. ‘Wounded Healer’ continues the theme that ‘Misery’ started - epicness, greatness, melodic hymn as it is. ‘Some Kind Of Monster’ is more grounded while staying on the given path and not missing on the hymnal refrain. ‘Human’ is another track that blends in perfectly, but to be honest gets a bit lost while listening to the whole album in total.
‘Golden Pariahs’ shows another side of the album, it has some little details that are interesting to discover. The guitars are straighter and more dominant, the vocals clear and edgy. This one is much more of a fight song. ‘Marching On’ stands out as male vocals are dominating it and mix with the female strong ones in the refrain - this change gives the album a welcome twist. Straightforward as it is. ‘Out Of The Ashes’ is a truly beautiful ballad, for once without the hymn refrains. From the following tracks ‘Coming Home’ is standing out, being darker, sensual and dangerous. ‘I Won’t Surrender’ could be taken from a sage or fairy tale soundtrack - a magical atmosphere is weaving the listener in towards the end of the album. The last song ‘Welcome To My Wasteland’ finishes the album as a Hard ’n’ Heavy song par excellence. Symphonic Metal at its best.
‘Hørizøns’ will probably not give you the “have never heard before” feeling in the way it is - but BEYOND THE BLACK deliver a release that keeps up high standards of a well-produced and written Symphonic & Gothic Metal release that absolutely deserves the recognition and will find its listener in anyone who loves melodic Metal melodies and gorgeous female vocals that captivates with its power and variety.
03. Wounded Healer
04. Some Kind Of Monster
06. Golden Pariahs
07. Marching On
08. You’re Not Alone
09. Out Of The Ashes
11. Coming Home
12. I Won’t Surrender
13. Welcome To My Wasteland
Jennifer Haben - Vocals
Stefan Herkenhoff - Bass
Chris Hermsdörfer - Guitar / Backings
Tobi Lodes - Guitar / Backings
Kai Tschierschky - Drums
http://beyond-the-black.com / https://www.facebook.com/beyondtheblackofficial
Total: 8.5 / 10