Review Summary: And why should God have all the satisfaction?
A good portion of cinema films relies on the concept of revenge. The intrigue in their plots is further amplified by the interplay of revenge with forgiveness and catharsis through (self) punishment. For example, in the 2003 film Oldboy
, the 15-year captivity of the character Dae-su Oh is not enough for his oppressor, as the latter strives for catharsis through self punishment for everyone involved in the tragedies depicted in the screenplay. As the plot thickens in last year’s severely underrated saga Only God Forgives
, drug dealer Julian (starring Ryan Gosling) accepts his imminent demise like a true stoic.
The list of relevant films is abundant, with some terribly obscure but highly pertinent examples making their appearance every once in a while, like for example, the opening track in the debut EP Carnivalism
of the newly emerging Greek tech death metal outfit Essence Beyond. In what sounds as a drum driven African tribe ceremony, two British individuals unfold a dispute about God’s exclusivity with respect to forgiveness and punishment. In response to the point of view that God alone should attend these matters, the cynical (if not sadistic) counter response brings about the factor of pleasure, by saying “And why should God have all the satisfaction?” and setting the mood for the remainder of the EP.
In terms of references to other bands and albums, it’s not so hard to pinpoint where Carnivalism
stands musically. With an overall jazz/fusion vibe beating in the rear, Essence Beyond have blended Deicide’s early-to-mid ‘90s death metal groove, the riffology of Reign in Blood
-era Slayer, and Suffocation’s ominous penchant for convoluted death metal (think of Pierced From Within
). The four songs of the EP hardly reach the three minute mark, there’s nothing here that a dedicated tech death metal fan hasn’t heard before, yet the Greek-Athenians have used every split second at their disposal for magnifying the replay value of the EP (especially in the songs “Ceremonial Act”, “Assimilation”). The sound production is not as heavy as in more “professional” death metal releases, however the music is granted a more natural sound while it's allowed to breathe better. In effect, the band’s instrumental proficiency (the rhythm section in particular) is perfectly audible, the free-form bass included.
and as far as tech death metal goes, Essence Beyond have delivered a comprehensive package, which is characterized by a rare (for the genre) song writing economy. The band is currently without a drummer, but fortunately it’s not the early ‘90s where drummers were an unknown commodity in the Greek metal scene, so there’s a very good chance we will hear from Essence Beyond soon, especially if the EP lands upon the right ears.