Beyond The Black |Songs Of Love And Death
Label : Universal Music Group
Release : 2015
Country : Germany
Genre : Progressive/Symphonic Metal
Jennifer Haben – Lead Vocals
Nils Lesser – Lead Guitar
Christopher Hummels – Rhythm Guitar / Backup Vocals
Tobias Derer – Drums
Erwin Schmidt – Bass
Michael Hauser – Keyboards
Many metal female vocalists in the past 25 years would most likely tell you that Doro Pesch was one of the main primary influences. Cristina Scabbia Lacuna Coil , Simone Simons Epica, Floor Jansen (ex-After Forever) now Nightwish and a few others. Many have positioned themselves to be Doro’s heir apparent. Now up comes Beyond The Black’s Jennifer Haben from Doro’s native Germany itself.
Beyond The Black are like if Doro Pesch were backed by band in the vein of Dream Theater or Symphony X with a mix of the Beauty & Beast metal sound that bands like Theater Of Tragedy, After Forever , early Within Temptation and Epica all pioneered in the 1990’s and early 2000’s . Listening to this album was like listening to a high quality film score set to symphonic metal. Neal Lesser and Christopher Hummels remind me of a fresh young guitar duo of Iron Maiden’s Dave Murray and Adrian Smith. The thunderous rhythm section of Tobias Derer, Drums, Erwin Schmidt ,Bass certainly can hold their own with rhythm sections of Nightwish and Within Temptation.
Normally I would do a track by track breakdown in most of my album reviews. However this is one of the few exceptions to the rule. I do see spiritual themes in the record lyrically throughout the entire album. Beyond The Black remind this 43 year old of a very hungry Warlock about 30 years ago. Jennifer Haben’s vocals really set Songs Of Love And Death on a emotionally charged and positive direction rarely seen in today’s progressive symphonic metal scene. This is certainly one of the more powerful debuts I have heard in 35 years. I give this album a 4.5/5 for a debut effort.