Review: Beyond The Black – Lost In Forever

How do a symphonic metal band shake off and transcend the limitations placed upon them by such a tag? The answer is simple. By not being a symphonic metal band.

While German sextet Beyond The Black are undeniably to be classified as thus, there is much evidence on ‘Lost In Forever’, the first worldwide release by the band, to suggest that they are far from confined to this niché genre. Although grandiose and suitably silly, the album is creatively varied enough to hint that Beyond The Black are more than capable of expanding their sound to be less exclusive and more accessible to mainstream rock fans.

Orchestral arrangements are tastefully utilised and are more supplementary than anything else – the thunderous title track is where strings feature most heavily, and give it a dramatic edge and depth. ‘Beautiful Lies’ unexpectedly slows the pace early in the proceedings, symphonies making way for an instantly memorable melody.

‘Dies Irae’ and ‘Shine And Shade’ are rousing battle-cries that find frontwoman Jennifer Haben formidable and impressively solid, though you get the frustrating impression that she never quite gets out of third gear. Any number of genres could be home to her wonderful range and style, most obvious on the gorgeous acoustic ballad ‘Love’s A Burden’.

One of the finest moments, ‘Dim The Spotlight’, is hidden amongst four bonus tracks found on this worldwide version of the album. A triumphant slice of 80s hair metal, it showcases hard rock songwriting at its best and the finest guitar solo on the album.

It should be noted that condensed from seventeen tracks to perhaps the ten best, this could have been a highly impressive effort. On this evidence, Beyond The Black have talent in abundance, a masterful knowledge of their field, and scale that goes beyond the connotations of symphonic metal. Could an unfailing commitment to that grandiosity be the one thing standing in their way?

3/5

‘Lost In Forever’ by Beyond The Black is out now on UDR Music.

Beyond The Black links: Website|Facebook|Twitter

Words by Peter Stewart (@PeteStew_)

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