Beyond Terror Beyond Grace

Willowtip has scored yet another massive-sounding and terrifying band in Australia’s Beyond Terror Beyond Grace. If you want to know what they sound like, well, the name says it all. These guys have created a black/post-metal sound at once brutal and transcendent – full of terror, full of grace and yet beyond both. Nadir pulverizes you with bestial screams and rasps, chaotic drumming and cold, mechanical riffs that blend into an oddly hypnotic wall of sound; Anaal Nathrakh‘s hyperblack attack all blunted and muffled out into an apocalyptic and atmospheric Neurosis-like roar.

Opener “Dusk” starts with a slow, subsurface rumble, and then the world splits apart. It’s all droning guitars and rasping, buried vocals, but the drums are what really command your attention. They’re varied, frenzied, precise and densely interwoven; a geyser of boulders, ash and jagged shards falling to earth in syncopated, geometric patterns, like the gods painting in volcanic pointillism. In fact, given that melody here is mostly limited to drone, it’s as if the guitars and percussion have switched places, where the drums are by far the more colorful and dynamic element.

That sets the tone for the rest of Nadir, which is comprised of long, hypnotic tracks rather than the previous album’s shorter grindcore spasms. There are a lot of subtly cresting dynamics at play throughout, and although “Dusk” contains the expected post-rock melodic droning interlude, variance is achieved in other ways throughout the album. Plodding doom and deep guttural roars crest into shuddering, black metal paroxysms on “Throatless Sirens.” Shoegazer vocals strain to be heard amid peals of martial percussive thunder on “The Blood of Time,” and on “Requiem for the Grey,” subtle strings and tones are wedded to mechanized, Amenta-like guitars.

As its album cover suggests, Nadir is the sonic equivalent of an endless, thundering torrent, with roiling clouds reflected in the churn. It’s strictly late-night or headphones listening, well-suited for introspection and slow, cathartic build-ups, but despite all that, it’s not a monotonous listen. Beyond Terror Beyond Grace have managed to paint an enveloping and enthralling experience with all those blacks and grays, so color me impressed.

(Nadir doesn’t hit until April, but check out Willowtip’s site for pre-orders.)

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jordan Itkowitz
February 28th, 2012


  1. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    this sounds excellent.

  2. Commented by: gabaghoul

    here’s a sample since their myspace page is currently down

  3. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    found two songs. holy fuck, this is some of the best black metal I’ve heard recently. the drum programming on Dusk is a perversion.

  4. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    I guess it’s a live drummer. jesus.

  5. Commented by: E. Thomas

    i need to look into this. last cd was pure nasum/rotten sound grindcore

  6. Commented by: Paulo

    Ulcerate ripoffs!

  7. Commented by: gabaghoul

    haha yeah I thought of Ulcerate at first too but they are more structured than this; plus the blacker tone and presence made me think Anaal Nathrakh instead

  8. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    definitely a strong Nathrakh presence, as well as some Blut Aus Nord ambient passages.

  9. Commented by: Vulcan

    Woah! What a change for the worse from their nasum sound. Trying too hard to be nathrakh and ulcerate and isis. Avoid it this release

  10. Commented by: Cipherix

    People are too quick to point fingers to Ulcerate when compositionally speaking their songs are extremely different from most other bands’ out there at the moment.

    If you like post/black metal, you’ll probably like this album. I hear Altar Of Plagues and The Amenta’s first and second album here – NOT technical death metal. If you were expecting some deathier grind like their previous releases then you might be disappointed. Luckily I was forewarned of the change thanks to the teaser. Otherwise I’d probably be mad too.

  11. Commented by: E. Thomas

    Finally heard this. wow what a change- i reviewed the last cd at and its pure Nasum/Rotten Sound grind- this sounds like a completely different band – very Cobalt/Altar of Plagues post black metal -y. I like it though

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