|Review: Beyond Surface - Destination's End|
Label: Noise Records
Year released: 2004
Genre: Gothic Metal
Review online: April 27, 2004
Reviewed by: 4th Horseman
No, no and NO!!! I was hoping those four words will suffice, but it wouldn't do justice to the promo, so I guess I am going to have elaborate and get it over with. I will go easy on them, as Beyond Surface are not really a known band, are very young, and this is still their first effort; so I won't have a field day. I'll just highlight the major problem.
Now, Beyond Surface along with Dyecrest and Persuader won the "Young Metal Gods" competition last year. If I didn't already know about the other two bands and that Beyond Surface were the only winners, then I would shudder to think about the quality of the remaining acts that competed! This music is not horrible or pathetic or anything like that. It is decent and I guess I could even enjoy it at a certain level. But here is the problem and I hope the band would fix it on their next release.
It is painfully, painfully obvious that the band is holding back and staying mellow to attract a wider audience. First of all, I don't even know how they won the Young METAL Gods title. Are they young? Yes. Are they Gods? Nope. Are they even Metal? Sadly…No! This is very, very borderline stuff that is just scraping commercialism. It would not even be that surprising to hear any one of these songs on any popular radio stations. There really is no crunch or intensity in the guitars or drums. The vocals and lyrics too are just filled with pitiful whining about how 'I was born without testicles' and how 'my girlfriend dumped me'; the perfect ingredients for MTV airplay. And what pisses me off most about this disc is that the band purposefully stays in that middle ground trying to please both audiences. Take my advice friends…it has been tried numerous times before! It just doesn't work! You have a choice right now. The pink pill, or the black pill. If you take the pink pill, you can pursue a career in radio gothic pop that may yield wide recognition for about 12 months. The black pill will bring you into the pits of the real metal world. The choice is yours.
"Destination's End" is basically like half a boner. And I don't like that. I either want the full thing or nothing at all. 45 minutes and 15 seconds of just dangling around in the middle is a very painful and an uncomfortable experience. And this album does precisely that. Through the entirety of the disc, it will leave you starving for something. There are points in the album where it seems to be building up to deliver some great chorus, a guitar shred, a hook or something goddammit! I'd clench my fists; move my head straight up in front of the stereo staring directly into the speakers in excitement, waiting for the hit. And pooh! We get a very toned down and controlled guitar action and again, the same old 'sorry I was ever born' vocals. I like my Gothic metal just fine and have no problem with sorrowful and self-pity drowned lyrics. But this barely passes. Barely.
Anyway, there is potential here. I know these guys are holding back and lack a clear vision of where they want to take their sound. Once they have it figured out, I'm sure they'll succeed at whatever they're trying to do.
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