Beyond: Fatal Power of Death

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Beyond: Fatal Power of Death
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Beyond: Fatal Power of Death
Death Metal
Iron Bonehead Productions
July 16th, 2013
Release length: 50:08
Formed in 2008 under the name Shapeless, Germany’s Beyond are a chaotic breed of early Death Metal, and pure primal rage. 2011 saw the release of their first demo, Relentless Abomination Vortex, followed by 2012’s EP Enter Transcendence, which also found the band signed to Iron Bonehead Productions. Now, about a year later, they release their much anticipated debut album, Fatal Power of Death to aurally assault both the unsuspecting, and those already aware of their existence. Does it stack up, or is it just an underground cliche?

Fatal Power of Death sounds like a chaotic Death Metal album ripped straight out of the late eighties. The band mixes absolute chaos with groove-fused passages, as well as some highly dismal and atmospheric areas. All of this ends up amplified by the raw analog production quality that makes it sound far more sinister, a huge plus when the material is simply crushing the listener with blast beats and venomous riffs. The introduction to track “Expressions of Invincibility,” however, doesn’t quite benefit from this. While a creepy b-movie slasher Synth-fueled performance, some of the effects, such as a beeping alarm and later other shrill noises, end up becoming too much. After a little more than two minutes though, you are greeted with a tight, abrasive performance that continues building where the extensive opening left off, exploding with relentless grinding blast beats and echoing shouting vocals meant to rip your face off and dance upon your corpse as the slower paced groove inspired riffs kick in a short time later with a burdening environment, and a maddening guitar solo that starts with a hook ripped right out of “Hallowed Be Thy Name” by Iron Maiden.

“Merciless at Heart” is an uncompromising track with some additional technicality in the timing for some spots, but there’s a good deal of Napalm Death-esque groove soaked Death Metal material going on that will bang your head for you with its energy and commanding presence. “Schizopsychotic Eruption” starts off with a stronger, more intense groove at work that quickly shifts to a pounding, somewhat chaotic performance. Again, the timing in the technical guitar work plays a major role, and some leads really push that “psychotic” touch. The guttural vocals performing shorter lyrics, and the thick echo they have, also aids that atmosphere, as do the many random shifts in timing throughout, though always remaining just as violent. Sadly, this is a hit or miss track, as some of the madness can become a bit too over-the-top for the song’s own good.

While the normal lengthed tracks are a venomous assult, there are some extensive offerings worth noting as well. “Definite Decease (In the Chamber of Deathsalvation)” finds a bass heavy introduction that utilizes eccentric leads to establish a truly crushing build up that the deeper groove foundation really fails to capitalize on. While it’s far from bad, an explosive start around two minutes in would have worked better instead of what exists only prolonging it for another roughly sixty seconds. “Consuming Black Void” is the longest of all, and definitely the most impressive. The creepy start builds to a burdening mixture of technical riffs and general blast beat fury. There are some groove laced passages that appear, and some end up really focused on the bass, which adds a little extra bite to the desolate emptiness that the audio already gives off. Five minutes in, the pace slows down with some eerie leads that grow stronger the deeper you get. It does start to get a bit dull after a while, and really the track could have ended at the nine or ten minute mark, but the guitar work and environment overall isn’t bad and won’t have you looking to skip ahead to the first track right away.

If Napalm Death had focused more on writing music that had an atmosphere which was truly burdening and dismal, sometimes working best as a soundtrack to a Horror flick, then you would have what Beyond has become. Fatal Power of Death is an abrasive and violent piece of varied Death Metal styles that borrows from already existing formulas, while making them a new experience. Yes, some ambient or largely atmospheric instrumental-driven chunks vary in quality, or can be a bit too long or over-the-top, but none of it ends up ruining the flow, nor do they make you want to skip ahead. One spin through Fatal Power of Death is enough to make anyone take notice of the potential that Germany’s Beyond carries with them, making this one hell of an important album to own for fans of the style, or Metal in general.

01. Expressions of Invincibility – 5:59
02. Merciless at Heart – 3:51
03. Whirlwinds of Chaotic Carnage – 4:25
04. Fatal Power of Death – 4:35
05. Schizopsychotic Eruption – 4:51
06. Definite Decease (In the Chamber of Deathsalvation) – 7:53
07. Appearance from Beyond – 5:41
08. Consuming Black Void – 12:53
Initial Pressing Score: 8.5/10

Beyond (band)
Beyond

Digital review copy of this release provided by Iron Bonehead Productions.