Technical death metal tends to be quite predictable these days. Ever since the invasion of Brain Drill, there has been an endless stream of bands that are obsessed with figuring out how many times they can sweep pick in a 4-minute song. While I enjoyed the initial hilarity of Brain Drill at first, it made the rest of the genre hard to listen to. Luckily, there are some bands that manage to take the best elements of modern technical death metal and mix it with their own style. This is where Beyond Creation fits in. While they definitely play standard modern tech-death, they understand how not to overdo the technical elements.
Consistently throughout this record, you’ll be hit with the staples of the genre: blasting drums, shredding guitars, loud but enjoyable bass, and plenty of tremolo picking. As mentioned, however, Beyond Creation does a few things to differentiate themselves from the crowd. Songs like “Coexistence” feature lengthy clean sections (not unlike Obscura sometimes does). The band also does time signature changes seamlessly. Some bands can make these sections feel awkward, but on “The Aura”, you never really notice they are there (in fact, I’m just assuming they are; everything sounds normal to me, but this is a tech-death record, so they've got to be there). In addition, the drums do more than simply blast. They often switch between heavy double-bass sections and blasting, while using snares or toms for accents on what the guitars are playing. The drumming is a very important element to help break the monotony, but the guitars also work to eliminate this issue. Although there are leads almost constantly, they aren’t leads just to show off. There is always a discernable melody to the leads. My favourite of these comes at the halfway mark in “Omnipresent Perception”, but in general, these leads are far too numerous to actually remember most of them. This brings me to my only issue with this record: it’s still a tech-death album. At 52 minutes, it’s difficult to really remember much of this album. Even if you put aside memorability, it’s a lot to digest in one sitting. There’s no doubt that Beyond Creation do this style much better than most of their contemporaries, but what happened to writing songs that were simple structurally, but technical from an instrumental perspective? “Individual Thought Patterns” and “Unquestionable Presence” are my main points of reference here; both of those albums are insanely technical, yet are completely memorable throughout.
For fans of the genre, I know this is going to be a favourite. It does everything well, and it is even accessible as someone who isn’t a fantatic of the style. If I go for modern tech-death, you can bet that I’ll be reaching for this record. It is impressive that a band’s first record can so accurately capture all of the high points of a genre. “The Aura” is sure to be a record that people will be talking about for years!
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4.0/5 or 80%.
Written by Scott