Beyond Melancholy’s newest release, ‘A Lifelover…’ is a middle of the road release from them, but still a good album on its own. It hits all the notes that the genre needs, and it has a great depressive atmosphere.
Band: Beyond Melancholy
Album: A Lifelover…
Genre: Raw BM, Depressive Suicidal Black Metal
Beyond Melancholy’s newest release, ‘A Lifelover…’ is a middle of the road release from them, but still a good album on its own. It hits all the notes that the genre needs, and it has a great depressive atmosphere. The band has released countless EP’s, splits and 3 albums before this one, with this album cementing their style further. Considering their earlier releases, mainly the EP ‘Hypothermia’ you would not be crazy to assume that the title of this is likely a reference to the popular band Lifelover. An inspiration like this is not uncommon, but this take on their music is interesting to say the least.
The album itself, and the track ‘The Time Has Come’ starts with no count in, it just starts the music. There’s no melancholy before the heavy music, no intro. Like the name of the band, this is beyond just being melancholic; no time for soft guitars. A single distorted guitar playing a melody and a simple drum pattern is the start to this, with screams; or should I say phlegm hinted cries being sprinkled over the depressive, repetitive music. A second guitar bleeds in to play a lead melody, both guitars fighting to reach your attention first. The song fades out in a slow way before leaving you with a short silence.
The next song, ‘Absent From Life’ starts with a clean intro this time, and it’s a good one! It’s not complex but the emotions it can send is very much the opposite. It quickly ends and the heavy guitars and drums come back in, with vocals, just like the last song; all around a pretty standard heavy section but regardless a good intro to the song. The drums get faster and the riff changes, a lead comes in with an absolutely sick melody; the vocals switch out to a more Trist (Sebevražední Andělé) style sound and the lead guitar drops out. The song goes back to the intro riff with the slow drumming, the clean guitar joining soon after it comes back in. The song is slowing down from the high and then the drums and distorted guitars stop. It’s only clean for the outro. The outro melody is just beautiful, no words for it.
The third song, ‘Romantic Depression’ starts again, with no count in like the first song. It starts basic and then a clean guitar (or maybe a synth?) plays over the heavy bit, switching to a rock and roll type beat, like most Black Metal songs have; quickly back to the melody from before, with a lead guitar on top of the pile. The lead guitar is typical, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad; not at all. The music starts to build up and the synth drops out, coming back in as the climax clearer and louder than before and it’s just a great melody. No words for it really. The song fades out after this.
The sudo-middle song, ‘A Lifelover…’ starts with a great riff, reminds me of another band but I can’t think of which. It’s good, and it goes through the same-ish drum pattern the song before did, then slowing down which just fits so well and sounds great. A drum fill follows into a slightly faster beat, with the guitars staying the same. It feels like a new section, but it’s tied to the other. Probably my favourite section of the song, the slow bit is great, but the title of this song should’ve been used for a later song. This is just an ok song.
Track five starts slow and with a great distorted melody, a melancholic lead guitar joining on top that almost brings me to tears on a first listen. The next melody after the other guitar drops out is great as well, the song speeding up and switching from the melody to a riff that fits super well with the rest of it. Slowing back down, and it starts to sound similar to the last song before going back to the intro melody, those vocals from song two coming back and just fitting so well; the lead joining in and giving the song maybe one of its highest points. It follows the same pattern of drumming and riffing from before, tapering off and ending the song.
The second last song, ‘Lost Inside’ has a melody similar sounding to the first song, but different. This one feels more dissonant and like something is wrong, really wrong. Then, like the songs that followed, it goes to a riff that’s nothing special, but still good. A new melody follows, which is potentially one of my favourites on the album. It’s just some chords then some notes but damn if it doesn’t make you feel hopeless. A great DSBM riff that just captures the genre and what it means follows this and a lead guitar goes on top, turning this into something real special. Slowing back down from the high, it lingers and starts to speed up a bit; with that great melody from before coming back. The chorus, so to speak, starts and it’s just so good. I can’t get over it, it’s just so special. It loops back to the formula of slow and fast and, again, fades off.
The last song of this album, ‘Left To Himself’ starts with a great riff; just melancholy. It starts the formula of slow and fast, with another melody like from the last song. Again, this just is special to this album, it feels. Within this cycle of slow-fast, it switches out the riffs played; spicing things up a bit to not get stale. The drums leave and clean guitars play a melody, with some ambience in the background; just perfect. The drums come back and a melody that sounds like the clean one plays over the riff, giving this album the climax it deserves. Clean guitars return to end this interesting journey. A great ending song overall and a good album overall too.
Although a bit on the safe side, sticking to the same ideas, it executes them well enough to not just feel like one song repeated over and over. Keeping the album majority distorted is a good idea too, keeping it in the more straight up depression rather than the melancholy that a clean guitar serves.
Rating: 8/10, not the most original, but one of the best at doing what’s been done.
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