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Beyond Surface
Destination`s End
June 2004
Released: 2004, Noise Records
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland

Beyond Surface is a young German band that is generating quite a buzz. After ranking in the finals of the Young Metal Gods competition in Europe over hundreds of other challengers, the band released a 4-song demo that eventually led to a deal with Noise Records to release their debut, DESTINATION’S END. The CD is mid-tempo metal that never really gets off the ground. It’s quite moody and definitely ready for modern rock radio. Several tracks are heavy with keyboards and the music is very melodic in parts. Vocals teeter dangerously close to emo at times but some good riffs tend to pick up the pace when things get a bit melancholy. Tiamat and Paradise Lost immediately come to mind.



“From The Mountain” and the title track have crunchy guitars that pave the way for some piano and decent vocals. The choruses are extremely catchy but follow the formulas set forth by commercial radio. “The Cure” utilizes those keyboards to great effect and coupled with a great riff, produces the best song on the CD. Once again, the chorus is very infectious and has excellent crossover potential. “Words Burn Down Like Fire” is a very dreary ballad with some good harmonies but again the pacing is not unlike that of Tiamat’s new sound. “Funeral For Sarah” uses some gothic sound effects and hooks that bear a striking similarity to an old song by Toad The Wet sprocket whose title escapes me.



DESTINATION’S END is a little too commercial sounding for my tastes. The songs are hook-laden and catchy and all, but never really grab me. They would not be out of place on modern rock radio and follow all the formulas necessary for success in that format. Beyond Surface have clearly done their homework and are ready to take on the world.



KILLER KUTS: “From The Mountain,” “The Cure,” “Words Burn Down Like Fire,” “Funeral For Sarah”
Track Listing

1. From The Mountain
2. Destination’s End
3. My Fading Love
4. Feel
5. The Cure
6. Words Burn Down Like Fire
7. Funeral For Sarah
8. Don’t Let It Go
9. Crawling To Myself
10. The Dreaming Beauty
11. One Step
12. Come Back And Stay

Lineup

Gerrit—Vocals
Thorsten—Guitars
Marten—Guitars
Max—Bass
Sascha—Keyboards
Loffel—Drums

Other reviews

» Destination`s End
by Lord of the Wasteland

» Destination`s End
by Michael De Los Muertos


Next review: » Beyond Surface - Destination`s End
Previous review: » Beyond Insanity - Beyond Insanity

Beyond Surface
Destination`s End
May 2004
Released: 2004, Noise Records
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: Michael De Los Muertos

Beyond Surface emerged as a result of the “Young Metal Gods” competition in Europe. Noise Records judged a competition of new bands from six countries, the stipulation being that all must be unsigned and none could have members older than 23. Three winners were chosen, of which Beyond Surface was one. The result is their first album, DESTINATION’S END, which, although it doesn’t totally burn down the house, is a very promising debut.



It’s a little difficult to categorize Beyond Surface. Their press sheet describes them as “Gothic Rock.” Clearly they’re not power metal, and they’re not really that thrashy, and they don’t have enough guitar wankery to qualify as a progressive metal band, yet their sound blends elements of all three. Not a bad start! The anchor of the band’s sound is a thick, meaty guitar sound--the title track is an excellent example. The band also uses a piano to its advantage, such as on “My Fading Love” and “The Cure.” The sound always moves quickly and never bogs down or gets dull. When they go all-out with speed and power, such as on the choruses (see “Crawling to Myself” for a good example) the result can be pretty heavy, although I can see some metalheads denouncing Beyond Surface is too “lite” for their tastes. There are several ballads on DESTINATION’S END and some of them do sound like the much-denigrated “love songs” spun out by some power metal bands. And, for all their excellent guitar riffage, I doubt any of the songs on this album will have a Wacken crowd going nuts. But on the whole it’s not bad.



Technically this band is flawless. If the emphasis of the contest was on technical and musical proficiency, it’s easy to see why Beyond Surface moved to the front of the pack. Vocalist Gerrit sings like a very experienced vocalist, and the coordination among all the instruments is top-notch.



I haven’t heard the other winners of the Young Metal Gods competition, and certainly none of the losers, but it does seem strange that with all the death and power metal bands that probably entered that a slightly lighter entrant such as this should have won. While their formidable skills as musicians was probably the basis of their victory, this band may suffer the curse of progressive metal bands--they may just not be able to incite passion about their music in more than a fairly narrow core group of fans. It’s very difficult to dislike DESTINATION’S END, but it’s equally hard to praise it unreservedly. Nevertheless, I do think this band has a great future ahead of them, and this album is the first stepping stone toward it.
Track Listing

1. From The Mountain
2. Destination’s End
3. My Fading Love
4. Feel
5. The Cure
6. Words Burn Down Like Fire
7. Funeral For Sarah
8. Don’t Let It Go
9. Crawling To Myself
10. The Dreaming Beauty
11. One Step
12. Come Back And Stay

Lineup

Gerrit -- vocals
Thorsten -- guitars, backing vocals
Marten -- guitars, backing vocals
Max -- bass
Sascha -- keyboards
Löffel -- drums

Contact

N/A

Other reviews

» Destination`s End
by Lord of the Wasteland

» Destination`s End
by Michael De Los Muertos


Next review: » Beyond The Bridge - The Old Man And The Spirit
Previous review: » Beyond Insanity - Beyond Insanity





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