Released: 2005, Source of Deluge Records
Far Beyond is the one man project from Eugen Hamburg. Very little information is given about the formation of the project or its original intent. All I’ve been able to find is that Eugen created Far Beyond in 2001 with a demo entitled, THE BLEEDING ROSE, being released in 2002. This year sees the full-length debut for Guardian (Eugen Dodenhoft) and his Far Beyond project, an album entitled AN ANGEL’S REQUIEM.
AN ANGEL’S REQUIEM, to these ears sounds, like what one would get from a softer, more restrained version of Old Man’s Child’s PAGAN PROSPERITY in that musically, I hear a lot of power metal under the raspy vocals (more on this later). Eugen uses both clean and the more typical raspy black metal-ish screams. The clean vocals come off horrible and often times very cheesy, usually due to melody choices (the opening of “An Angel’s Requiem”). This is where I’d say it might be a good idea for Eugen/Guardian to look into possibly adding at least one more member to his project as I could see the album being at least slightly more enjoyable with a more capable singer.
The main problem I have with this album is the abundant use of power metal styled riffs. Not because I don’t enjoy power metal but because for a band that seems to be trying to communicate a very sorrowful and melancholic message the style the band is using (lots of double bass etc.) is not a good choice whatsoever. It doesn’t portray the intended mood at all, I mean, why does a song entitled “Dream in Beautiful Slumber” have an almost happy sounding power metal riff in it? It utilizes two clashing ideals that, at least in this instance, just can’t be meshed together.
Also, over the course of the album one gets the sense that the music just has no life; nothing that lifts the album off of the ground. Aside from the album intro, “The Gate”, which has a great bombastic and over the top feel thanks to the symphonic sounds and clean acoustic guitar, the songs have a major sense of “been there, done that, not interested in doing it again”. Much of Eugen’s riffwork comes in the form of either tremolo “black metal” riffs (see 2:15 into “The Ancient Realms), upbeat power metal riffs with accompanying double bass (most of “Dream in Beautiful Slumber”), mid-paced riffing that tends to remind me of bands like Sentenced or Entwine (basically every mid-paced riff on the whole album), and slower, somber sections that are based around a central melody.
In a relative sense AN ANGEL’S REQUIEM isn’t bad, I mean, I’d rather listen to Far Beyond than Cradle of Filth or Six Feet Under but there’s nothing to make me want to listen to this album again. Nor is there a reason for anyone to go running out to buy this album, as it sits, it’s a pretty bland addition to the world of heavy metal.