Beyond the Dream - _The Beginning_
(Indepedent, 2007)
by: Quentin Kalis (6.5 out of 10)
The aptly named yet unimaginative album title of their debut presents a selection of "dark metal", an utterly useless description. Surely metal bands as diverse as Korn, HIM and Burzum can all be described as "dark"? But this is matter of semantics, as I have no doubt most of our readers will know what to expect from a band described as such: heavy metal riffing infused with a gothic air, which may include angelic female voices to the backing of omnipresent synths and keyboards. Beyond the Dream do not depart too far from this template -- although they thankfully have abandoned female vocals in favour of male vocals, which are relatively discernible, reducing the need for a lyric sheet. Still, his vocals do get a bit monotonous, and more variety would be welcome.

When the keyboard is used as a replacement piano, it produces a suitable backdrop, but just sounds nasty and superfluous when attempting to approximate strings. I sincerely hope that some of the gothic trappings will be discarded on future releases -- a description of their lyrics as "tears dressed in letters" belongs in abysmal poetry written by "I-am-sooo- rebellious" fourteen year olds, not in a band whose members are old enough to drink.

From production through to design and marketing, the band have clearly put a great deal of effort into this album (which they describe as a "mini-album", and it just staggers past the half hour mark -- if _Reign in Blood_ can be regarded as a full-length...), and I cannot dispute their drive. Sadly, it has resulted in a rather standard entrant to the dark/goth metal pantheon.


(article published 24/7/2007)

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