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Beyond The Grave
January 2009
Released: 2008, n/a
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Munkwunk

When I unwrapped the cellophane from the jewel case containing this CD, I assumed that I was going to be listening to a full-length album by a well-established band which I had just, for what ever reason, not heard of before. On the contrary, SANDS OF DESOLATION is actually the third demo release from an unsigned U.K. band, who have yet to see a full-length release. The packaging, artwork, and overall production quality belie the fact that this band doesn't even have a label yet, which I believe speaks for itself in regards to the band's devotion to their art.

Beyond the Grave deliver a riff-heavy blend of melodic thrash and metalcore, which to some may sound like an instant turn-off. While it is true that the band cites influences from such teen-oriented bands as Soulfly, As I Lay Dying, and Chimaira, they also include influences such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. It is a mix of music that takes some getting used to but ultimately proves to be far more listenable than any metalcore rip-off act could be.

While the demo is only four tracks in length, the average runtime of each song is around six minutes, which makes the CD roughly twenty-four minutes in overall length; not bad for a four-track demo. Each track is mid-to-fast paced with plenty of melodic riffing and soloing accompanied by pounding drums and bass, topped by some screaming vocals. The production quality of the music is as high as the album's packaging, which once again shows how the band is striving to compete and proves that they have what it takes to deliver a clean demo.

Since the band just signed a digital distribution deal with Believe Digital, you have no reason not to check them out on iTunes or other similar music services, and you should be watching carefully for any future material they may release. Even if you're turned off by the "metalcore" tag, don't let it fool you; Beyond the Grave's SANDS OF DESOLATION is a worthwhile release that will appeal to all types.
Track Listing

1. Before my eyes
2. A lie for the truth
3. Beyond The Grave
4. Sands of Desolation


Adam Jackson – Vocals
Luke Harrison – Guitars
Warwick Bennett – Guitars
Andy Neediam – Bass
Jackson - Drums

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