Beneath
The Barren Throne

Hailing from Iceland, Beneath is a tech death metal band who share two ex members with the only other death metal band from Iceland I have ever heard,the pretty damn solid  Ophidian I, who released their debut back in 2012 on Soulflesh Collector Records. The Barren Throne is the band’s second album, and it’s no surprise that like Ophidian I, it is very competent technical death metal, befitting Unique Leader’s style and current run of quality releases in 2014 (Soreption, Alterbeast, Near Death Condition).

Where as the UL bands and releases mentioned above each brought something a little different to the table, Beneath is content to play it a little safer and deliver sturdy brutal, tech death metal with a Floridan (i.e Cannibal Corpse) flare, albeit on steroids, resulting in a more typical, but higher quality Unique Leader release. It’s got everything you would want from a UL tech death record; blistering percussion, choppy tech riffs, razor sharp guitar tone and no nonsense death metal vocals.

No orchestral injections  or stuttering progressive riffs, no sweeping arpeggios,  just pure , unabashed Unique Leader styled brutality. You get a brief acoustic intro to start opener “Depleted Kingdom” but that’s it and you’ll like it for the next 50 or so minutes with only a couple of exceptions. Each track is just tight, furious and a perfectly executed delivery of the style  (i.e “Challice”). A few tracks stick out like the title track as well as ‘Iron Jaw” with some sneaky harmony and groove amid the tech death vortex, clever shrill riffs of “Carnal Sovereign Passion”, the albums longest cut, the 7 minute “Sky Burial” which is a rare slow burner on the album and actually a bit out of character, considering the rest of the album but it’s still a fine track. But the chaos returns for “Veil of Mercy” and the remaining 3 tracks.

While the least adventurous of Unique Leaders recent releases, its also the most straight forward and bludgeoning, but at 53 minutes long its a bit draining considering the style. “Sky Burial” might have been an apt closer  and the album not lose anything. Still, another great addition to Unique Leaders 2014 releases, I wonder if they can keep it up with forthcoming releases from Inanimate ExistencePillory and the rerun of Internal Bleeding?

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 9th, 2014

Comments

  1. Commented by: Darconville

    Compared to the likes of Inferi’s latest opus…Beneath sounds every bit the amateur and original band they showcase themselves to be.


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