Released: 2017, UDR Music
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Beyond the Black's second album, Lost in Forever, gives us a great dose of catchy symphonic metal. It can be saccharine and even poppy at times, but these folks still manage to pack a good deal of punch into their songs.
Jennifer Haben's vocals are more melodic than they are operatic, and while there are some male vocals, occasionally harsh and other times more of a male counterpart to her, they're firmly in the backing role. The music is above all catchy, not trying to be overly progressive or grandiose, content instead to entertain with infectious melodies and the twirling, dancing symphonic sounds of the keyboards. The comparisons that leap to mind most are Within Temptation or Once-Era Nightwish: it's filled with hooks and catchy choruses, but when it lets rip it can be grand and majestic, sweeping the listener off his or her feet. See the title track or "Rage Before the Storm", which brings in a solid dose of melodic power metal.
The best songs here are the ones that bring in a heavier side to the proceedings. Songs like "Shine and Shade", "Dies Irae" and "Burning in Flames" are still really fun listens, but they feel just as big and bold as they are memorable, making for a great final product. "Nevermore" also gorgeously combines the drama of "Dies Irae" with the catchiness of the album as a whole, and is possibly the best song here. The aforementioned "Shine and Shade" is another firm favourite; it has a great rhythm to it that calls up shades of Kamelot's "March of Mephisto". The only one I frequently skip over is the ballad "Love's a Burden". I can see what it's trying to do, but the lyrics and vocals on show are just a bit too substandard musical theatre for me.
Overall, Lost in Forever hits a lot more than it misses. For those cool with the catchier side of symphonic metal it's a rewarding experience that will definitely whisk you along for a fun, energetic ride.