Essence Beyond
Carnivalism


3.5
great

Review

by Voivod STAFF
August 15th, 2014 | 13 replies


Release Date: 06/20/2014 | Tracklist

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.

With Carnivalism 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.



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user ratings (3)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2014


6145 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

EP stream/"name your price" download: http://essencebeyond.bandcamp.com/album/carnivalism




As always, constructive criticism is most welcome.

Digging: Raven Throne - ???????? ?????????

RiffOClock
August 15th 2014


1049 Comments


that first para doesn't sit well with me honestly. it's a good idea but being this specific (mentioning the actor's name in particular) makes the introduction of the review kind of off-putting. just my two cents

not really interested in modern dm (especially of the tech death/suffo variety) so i'll probably pass

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2014


6145 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

@RiffOclock

I hear you about the introduction, but it still reads well, so I'm going to leave it intact.

As for the EP, I'm not a big fan of this type of death metal too, but it is almost free from the genre's ills, namely the plastic sound, the ridiculous song writing complexity and the fact that songs tend to drag temporally.

Gyromania
August 15th 2014


15773 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Cinematic storytelling tends to revolve around the concept of revenge more often than not."

it does? news to me.

i hate to break it to you, but it doesn't 'read well', because a decent amount of it doesn't make sense. first two sentences are non sequitur and it isn't clear to me what you're trying to say. like, 'the intrigue in capturing it into moving pictures is further magnified by the concepts of forgiveness and catharsis through (self) punishment' this is so tediously and awkwardly worded, and the premise doesn't connect with the conclusion

Digging: Lantlos - .neon

Gyromania
August 15th 2014


15773 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

also: *And why should god have all the satisfaction?

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2014


6145 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Ok, I edited the first para and the summary, hope it's better now, thanks for the heads up Gyro.

Gyromania
August 15th 2014


15773 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

no problem. also this is pretty decent. i feel like i liked it a lot more a few hours ago =/

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2014


6145 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I have it on heavy rotation for a month or so, and I haven't got tired of it yet mainly because I'm not so fond of tech death metal so as to feel saturated by the genre.

Totengott
August 15th 2014


968 Comments


Going to check this out.

Digging: Vali - Skogslandskap

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
August 15th 2014


28581 Comments


in agreement with a lot of the folks above re: the first paragraph

Digging: Chris Brown - X

thelastsignal
August 15th 2014


1370 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Bookmarking to check this weekend. Looks promising, thanks for reviewing Vovoid.

CaptainDooRight
August 15th 2014


29395 Comments


m/



Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III ? Saturnian Poetry

Wizard
August 21st 2014


19437 Comments


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.

An absolute gem!

Great review. Really want to hear to this.

Digging: Nightbringer - Ego Dominus Tuus



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