Let's start this review with the album sleeve. The artwork is very cool and makes me curious. It does suggest that it's probably progressive or symphonic metal. It is the debut album of a Dutch band named Beyond God, which is a female fronted metal band. I'm not a big fan of female fronted metal, because sadly there are a lot of bands who try to copy each other in this genre. The usual guitar riffs, orchestral bits and pieces, and don't forget the huge, dark, swaying dresses (and the occasional bats)!
The production is OK, but also too compressed. It misses dynamics and vivacity. The music contains the rough and heavy guitar riffs, the not so spectacular bass, the keyboard solos, the orchestral soundscapes and choirs, the typical metal drums with some flashy moments here and there, and the usual tempo and rhythm changes. The album also contains more quiet tracks, filled with more calm piano/keyboard parts. Meryl Foreman, the lead female vocalist, sings good but very safe, too safe in my opinion.
It starts with A Beautiful Beginning, which is the shortest track and is also instrumental. It has, indeed, the orchestral bits and pieces in it. Prince Creep is a heavy song, with an interesting, serene instrumental piece after three and a half minutes, which only lasts half a minute. Nocturne is a short, serene track with vocals, piano and orchestral strings. Memories is a weird track in my opinion. It's close to a metal ballad, but contains pop-like music chords. Destination Darkness is the longest track on the album. It starts very beautiful and haunting, but after one minute the heavy guitars and drums kick in, turning the track into a progressive metal track. Cursed has a cool intro with drums and piano, and is one of the calmer songs.
If you like female fronted metal with progressive and folky bits here and there, but no big surprises, then this is the album for you. Female fronted metal is a tough genre to stand out from others, and sadly this band will be put in the same basket as most of the other bands. It's good, but not special.
*** Iris Hidding (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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