Review Summary: Free melodic death metal that doesn't suck!
Melodic death metal is a very sparse genre in this day and age. At some points when listening to a band that is labeled as melodeath today you can't hear much difference from what your listening to and a generic metalcore band. So where did the old school melodeath go? Not exactly sure but wherever it was Behind the Scenery captured it and made it their own. They bring back the sound that bands like Dark Tranquility brought to the genre in order to make it relevent force in the metal world. Behind the Scenery has the ability to open for Opeth and make all the elites cum before their gods hit the stage, but it is noticable here that they hadn't exactly put their all into this, but it is still an overall good outing.
Their isn't much band history for me to post due to the fact that this band is extremely unknown and I currently have no internet connection to look them up. All that is known is that this album was released in 2000, they have previous releases to this one of which is also posted for free on their webpage. Anyway to the music. One thing Behind the Scenery do well is create great epic sounding riffs, for the most part they are technical to an extent but they always remain at least semi melodic. The faster tracks on the record seem to have the most effect riffwise. The atmosphere created with these riffs are fairly grim, yet beautiful in their own individual ways. "...Of Honesty Forbidden" has one of the best guitar tones I have ever heard captured by a band that wasn't signed to a high end label at the time of it's release.
The vocals mainly consist of high end shrieks, and the occasional scream and growl layering. The vocalist screams himself raw on this album, and sets the mood for destruction that Behind the Scenery are out to achieve. He isn't by any means the best vocalist in the world, or even in the genre, but he is a pretty good one, he never stops you from scratching your head and wondering why this band never got noticed over a lot of the low quality bands that did in the genre. They could've utilized the cookie monster vocals more than they did, in order to give the record a little more vocal variety; not to say there isn't any here there is in fact plenty but more variety wouldn't have hurt.
Amazingly epic moments on the record don't happen throughout but when they do they make themselves known, see "Pierce the Eyes" acoustic section to hear what I mean. Some of the acoustic passages are spectatcular and very melancholy, but in a way me and these sections of the record have a love hate relationship, but I'll get to that later. The drumming on the record is kept to simple rhythms for the most part, they may induce you into headbanging fits, and for those of you with short hair bobbing of the head. There is also a very awe inspiring piano instumental track entitled "Epilogue" with moments like these it is hard to write this off as an album you can delete off your hardrive if it gets filled.
This album isn't all good though. Though some of the unique sections on the album sound great they aren't exactly arranged in the most cohesive ways possible, this at times makes the album feel a bit sloppy. Also the acoustic intros on most songs grow to become tedious and at times annoying, sure when used in small doses these moments are perfectly fine, but when used excessively it starts to sound like an overused gimmick. The mixing on the record was also done in an odd way, on some songs the drums are tracked louder than everything else while on others the drums are very hard to hear period. These things can become annoying when listening to the album beggining to end.
The bottom line is if you are in the mood for some decent music and you are tired of your collection and want some free, legal music than Behind the Scenery is exactly what you need. After years of aimlessly searching the internet for quality unknown metal this band takes the cake for the most entertaining, and they show some serious potential.This raw melodeath record of course has it's flaws, but there are not enough to make this an average release. This gets a 3.5 out of 5 from me.