BEYOND THE BLACK‘s second album has been out in Germany a little while now, and it’s been a long wait for Lost In Forever here in the UK. However, there seems to be well worth the wait for the bands second album, as the mammoth seventeen track record is cram packed with Symphonic Metal goodness.
Title track Lost In Forever is a strong opener, a big anthem with key elements of Symphonic Metal; its got great pacing, vocals that bring in great key changes and overall music phrases that are just lovely. It’s a wonderful relief that a band can still make a genre with so many tropes still feel fun. Beautiful Lies is something similar to more traditional themes of the genre, but with a softer beginning. It’s poetic, and brings in some male vocals that really thicken out the sound.
Written In Blood turns up the haunted feeling just a touch, which is just what you need after the easier introduction to this record. There’s a much more sinister feel overall here, which fans will enjoy as they shift through the album. Against The World is a little more difficult to get on board with after the harder sound from the last track, but it seems that the feeling becomes a little more ethereal from hereon in. the same goes with Beyond The Mirror that comes next, with an almost Celtic feel, the tone is more grounded. bringing the tone to a good level. There are definitely some really good riffs and drops coming from this record already, and this track seems to have something just unusual enough mixed in with the massively catchy to please everyone.
Halo Of The Dark is another beautiful track that encompasses so many thing people enjoy about Symphonic Metal. BEYOND THE BLACK have a distinct character that locks on to the essential points that make Symphonic so recognisable, but take those feelings of darkness and hope merge in songs that keep things feeling fresh. Dies Irae, taking its theme from a Latin Hymn about the final judgement, it’s fair to say that BEYOND THE BLACK have done a cracking job at making a big sound, a huge track with a truly apocalyptic feel to it.
Forget My Name is another big tune with melodies that are haunting and yet that burdened feel to the lyrics makes the whole track more potent once more. Burning In Flames shifts the feeling once more, with a little more emphasis on the Classic Metal side of the bands dynamic. The sound here is probably the reason this is such a stand out track of the record. There is so much repeat value in this track, that even at just past halfway, you still have faith that the rest of the album is going to have a lot to offer. Equally, Nevermore is just as much a contender for the top spot of the, packing in so much into its run time and never letting up momentum.
Shine And Shade runs in the same vein, always building on itself, adding in textures and vocal diversity that makes this feel more like a story being told more than anything. It’s truly beautiful, and has some kick ass riffs to boot. Heaven In Hell is classic Symphonic Metal at its best. Orchestral, dark, heavy, desperate and tormented, but filled with a sheen of beauty and glamour at it’s surface. What becomes clearer and clearer is that there’s a very obvious reason for this album being so long- there’s just so much good material.
The most unusual example of this is Love’s A Burden. A one-take track that’s as stripped back as you could ask for with this genre, it’s utter nakedness has a truth to it that cannot be conveyed in any other way. Sincerity is carried through the simple melody and vocals that would be lost in a more thematic piece. This album is also very well balanced in terms of its track placement. It feels like everything is in an order, meticulously thought about. The Other Side starts where the previous track ends, in a quiet place. That thoughtful quiet is gradually constructed into an ensemble of blissful guitars, powerful vocals with a great beat and orchestral power.
Brings back a sense of fun and hope, but the track while still very good in it’s own right doesn’t follow up to the huge strength of the middle section of the album. Perhaps it’s the dual vocals that make it feel more like a singalong, rather than the strong piece of music it could be. However, things get back on track straight away with Our Little Time, which is actually a great track filled with power and emotion. Somehow, it’s the final track, which impressive after seventeen tracks, as it feels like no time. For the final crescendo, this is a beast of a track. The intension is there, the drive and the passion. Everything that a good song needs, and goodness me, does this track deliver. Bringing in the best parts of all that has led to this point, Rage Before The Storm is a true display of what this band are capable- and it’s with good reason they’ve risen to great success so far.
A huge album with some classic moments, this will be one to keep your eye on as the years goes by. BEYOND THE BLACK are a band with so much potential and such a strong feeling within the Symphonic genre, and it’s so good to see younger blood taking the stage any absolutely killing it.
Lost In Forever is out now in the UK via UDR Music.
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