Beyond Within - Eternal Pestilence
Abhore Records
Melodic Death Metal
10 songs (40:19)
Release year: 2006
Reviewed by Kayla

What is a young band to do when trying to make their mark in a genre that has become overstuffed and sometimes dismissed entirely as watered-down and mainstream? Why, crossbreed, of course, and add some mongrel vigor to an old idea. Beyond Within are a Canadian quintet who have infused Swedish-style melodic death metal with a symphonic black metal flair, creating something fresh which catches the ear and piques interest.

The riffing on Eternal Pestilence is 90% melodic death and 10% black metal, fairly straightforward and very catchy. The melodies are pure hook, sinking into one’s brain, but with enough of a dark edge to prevent annoyance and resentment from setting in with them. In fact, that blackened edge mitigates quite a bit of the common complaints levied against this brand of melodic death metal – the riffing is prone to chugging, but the effect ends up being a steady hammer blow rather than the kind of thing you would expect to find in metalcore. The guitar sound itself is solid and meaty, with a slightly raw, buzzing edge to it. The drums have the same effect, although there it serves to muffle rather than enhance; this is added to by the fact that they’re buried in the production.

The vocals are a death growl rather than a black screech; Todd Pigeon uses two styles, one lower and more guttural, the other higher and raspier. Both are executed very well and are a good fit; they also help offset the more straightforward riffing, making a much more interesting sonic effect. This is taken even further with the second part of the blackened edge, an unobtrusive, intermittent ribbon of Dimmu Borgir-like synths that floats underneath the vocals and guitars.

All these elements come together most cohesively on two tracks; Through The Gates and The End I Become Death. Both are darkly catchy, employing descending, midtempo riffs that stick around just long enough to drag you into a dark, nasty nether region where you’re pummeled with demonic hammering until you submit to their will and find your head banging along with it.

A bit of superfluous fat exists on the album in the form of the opening and closing tracks, Infinite… and …Perception. As might be surmised from the titles, they’re essentially two parts of the same song that was cut up and stuck on like bookends. The production is slightly different on them, as if they had taken an earlier song called Infinite Perception and simply sliced it up to fit on Eternal Pestilence. The album stands fine without them, and, given the slightly lower standard of production, would probably benefit from their omission.

Beyond Within are the type of band with which to counter those melodic death naysayers who foolishly claim the genre is dead and stinking. They’re innovative, but, and perhaps most importantly, know how to mix genres just enough to give a new and interesting spin on something needing some fresh blood, without creating something that defies all genre lines and ends up sounding like a gene-splicing experiment gone awry. Melodic death fans are practically guaranteed to enjoy their diabolical mutant offspring, and it just might change some people’s minds about the status of the genre as well.

Killing Songs :
Condemned To Suffer, Through The Gates, The End I Become Death
Kayla quoted 82 / 100
0 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 3 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Jul 11, 2006 2:45 pm
View and Post comments