Sunday, 1 March 2015

Beyond Creation "Earthborn Evolution" (2014)

Canadian Death Metal outfit "Beyond Creation" from Montreal are back with another healthy serving of their tightly performed, squeaky clean technical onslaught of growling gutturals, crunchy guitars, fancy leads and tactical drumming. They caught my attention with a viral video of their song "Omnipresent", standing aside from other bands for two distinct reasons. Firstly the fretless bass, a bright colorful sound that bounces and slides its way from the background to foreground in a tasteful manor. Secondly the overall aesthetic is crisp and orchestrated with a delightful balance between the instrumentals which compliment one another in a genre that can often be plagued by emphasis on brutal tones. Their debut "The Aura" was an interesting one and I have kept an eye out awaiting a second record, which arrived late last year.

"Earthborn Evolution" is a cautious step forward for the band, working within the same frame they set for their selves as on "The Aura". In terms of production the most notable change is the drums, slightly softer, less of a sharp sting to them, otherwise it could almost be the same record. Musically its a continuation too, not a lot of evolution in style or experimentation, the band play out ten tracks of enjoyable high-octane technical death thats continually frenetic, shifting mercilessly with grindy riffage and shuffling blast beats while the fretless bass dances around between the instrumental onslaught. Constantly rearranging themselves, these songs unfold like a tapestry of ideas being unwound and stitched back together as the guitars and bass dance around one another with complimenting ideas the exhausting drumming narrates with its continual hammering. The guttural vocals come in with force and power over the top of the musical onslaught, they are captured with a textural quality that amplifies the brutality through that texture, as opposed to volume or force. It has a strange effect of leaving these songs feeling complete with or without their presence. When they come in they add a new dimension, but one thats not felt in its absence.

For all thats good and said there is a big negative. Across the 46 minutes of technical bliss there is little that feels memorable. It is pleasant to listen through each song musically unwinding its way through its gorgeous aesthetic, but never does it "strike a nerve" like "Omnipresent" did. There are a few share of unique moments, like the speedy bass fretting on "Theatrical Delirium", but its impact is momentary. After listening through several times it is apparent that for all they do right there is a certain spark needed thats absence can not be disguised. A good record needs to leave you with music you can't get out of you head, and despite being a great listening experience there was nothing here that did it for me on that level.

Rating: 5/10