Beyond Deth
The Age of Darkness

Wowwee! Chicago’s own Beyond Deth may have just brilliantly answered a question  none of us ever gave a shit to ask. Though after listening to the bands’s debut release, The Age of Darkness, maybe it’s a question that should have been posed long ago. That question? “What would a thrashing death metal band sound like if both Iced Earth‘s Jon Schaffer and Unleashed‘s Johnny Hedlund were the main creative force?”Granted, Beyond Deth do not actually have any affiliation with either of those two metal stalwarts, other than influences, but the band answers the question all the same; and that answer is quite enjoyable, if I do say so myself. Other veins of influential greatness run through this deathly thrash-tastical affair, recalling the likes of Absu, Usurper, God Dethroned, and Aura Noir, but none really as predominant as the Schaffer/Hedlund analogy.

Ten tracks; eight full-fledged scorchers, two brief instrumentals, and not a single fucking dud to be found within this 41 minute offering. Seriously though, album highlights/personal favorites are every damn track. Okay, maybe not the two instrumentals (by the way, I’m not sure if naming one of your instrumental tracks, “Instrumental” is ingenious or doltish. The jury’s still out on that one), but every other track on The Age of Darkness is a bonafide “winner, winner, chicken dinner”.

Whether it’s the slight death vibe at the 3:40-4:40 mark in “The Cold”, or the sweet bass-play opening of “Beyond Deth” and the song’s fiery blackened fields that morph into superb thrashings, or the Lamb of God, but so much better than those guys, swagger of “Goddess Isis”, or even the infectious Killwicth Engage flavored melodic edge that shines through album closer “Search the Stars”, you will find something to love about this album.

With a driving energy, fortitude, and a riffing style that really does have that strong, tight picking presence that Schaffer/Iced Earth is known for centering all of the tracks, The Age of Darkness comes off so immensely genuine and even endearing. I love that this album isn’t just some downtuned, heavier than gravity itself, mush-mouth monster. The songs are allowed to exist without pretentious ideas or genre staples even. There is no gimmick or agenda, just wonderful deathly thrash/thrashy death with some quality blacker moments of flair and honest to God, old-school sincerity.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kristofor Allred
July 19th, 2018

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