Nation Beyond – The Aftermath Odyssey

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Reviewed: January 2008
Released: 2007, Burning Star Records/Sound Pollution
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

Nation Beyond was born when friends Jonas Karlgren (Debase) and Joakim Hedestedt (Face Down) wanted to do something together outside of their main bands. The plan was to do a big epic concept album with classical instrumental arrangements and additional professional choirs. To add the right flavor they incorporated musicians from the southern parts of Sweden like Jonas Debase’s colleague Johan Helgesson on drums and Micko Tweedberg on guitar with the vocals sung by Nielz and Sara.
For some strange reasons the bio claims that this is melodic power metal when it’s in fact a dark and mystical progressive/symphonic metal with epic choirs and huge orchestral parts. Similar bands include Evergrey, Savatage and Queensryche. There are some influences of Debase here and there when it comes to the guitar riffs and the music, but that’s not surprising since three Debase members are in the band.
There are 13 tracks on the album including an intro. The song “Soulmates” is featured twice; once as a studio version and once as a radio-edited version. It’s a theme album about a tale of love, hate and betrayal in a dark and dreadful future: the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust. I don’t have any lyrics and I don’t need any either because the music can hold its own. And even though I’m pretty tired of concept and theme albums, this one has something extra that takes you for a ride. It was a smart move to let Nielz and Sara share vocals; they match each other perfectly and have a real intensity and nerve in every song they sing both together and on their own.
The only thing they could have narrowed down is the many orchestral parts. They have overdosed on strings and choirs. The disc is a little too long as well and they could have benefitted from taking away one or two songs.
THE AFTERMATH ODYSSEY is one of those albums from which it’s hard to pick any favorite songs. The material is really consistent and when the album is over you can’t wait to listen to it again. It’s worth taking a closer look at Nation Beyond’s debut album. If the band is gonna continue releasing discs of this caliber then I definitely have a new favorite act.


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Track Listing:
1. The End (intro)
2. A Rainy Day In Hell
3. In the Ashes
4. The Wanderer
5. New Eden City
6. The Council
7. Soulmates
8. Last Deceiver
9. Confession
10. War of the Wastelands
11. Aftermath
12. Point Zero
13. Soulmates (Radio Edit)

Jonas – guitar, keyboards
Micko – guitar, sampler
Nielz – lead vocals
Sara – lead vocals
John – drums
Joakim – bass