Review Summary: Love them or hate them, Beneath the Sky is generic metalcore at its best. Playing the same boring music fans know and love, but mixing it up adequately to keep things fresh, the band shows definite development and maturity on this new release.
BTS's first release "What Demons Do to Saints" was a generic metalcore romp that displayed a band with loads of potential, but a good deal of flaws that hindered the music as a whole, among them, repetitive tracks and sharp, poorly produced vocals that hurt the listeners ears after 25 minutes or so. Their sophomore LP "The Day the Music Died" has the band having fixed most of their flaws and evolving as songwriters and musicians. BTS uses two screaming voices. one a low guttural growl, the other a serrated shriek. On their first release the band failed to fully utilize both to their maximum extent, however, on TDTMD they balance things out just enough to give each voice a sufficient amount of air time, which creates a pleasant, never-boring effect.
The CD opens with something of a B-Movie zombie scene. The sounds of the opener will either leave you laughing, or questioning what the hell the band was doing. However, just as the intro builds to the point where the anguished screams of the victim become annoying, "Nature of the Beast" kicks in. The song has the typical brutality and musicianship the band displayed on the previous effort, but the guitar riffs are excellent and drums are tighter. The vocals also seem to sound more fine tuned as well. The album progresses on with some songs that all sound very similar in nature, but are played with enough conviction and passion, along with some slight musical variation.
The next track "True Friends Stab You in the Front" really displays what the band has accomplished between releases. The lyrics, clearly audible, scream angry laments, over a brutal, heavy background. The music just seems to have gone up a few notches from the last release. Tracks like this carry on throughout the entire album, and while most are excellent songs that show increased maturity, some seem like total rip offs of the band's past material. "With a Gun Smoke Kiss" carries a riff that sounds nearly identical to "7861". The song also became repetitive and the band attempts to use clean vocals which just don't seem to flow with the tune of the song. "Option for the Lonely" shows the band at the top of its form. Fast brutal rhythms gradually meld into a high, wailing guitar harmony. The band seems to be venturing into Post-hardcore territory here.
Other tracks display the band's ability to vary their music even further, such as on "I'll Call This My Own". What could just be a generic metalcore song sounds like a combination of multiple genres, giving BTS a unique kind of sound. They use clean vocals to highlight the excellent guitar riffs, and throw in some heartfelt Whoa-Oh's for good measure
A well done ballad also graces the album as "Another Day" shows some emotional singing and acoustic guitar playing, with an explosive, epic ending. The band's instrumental talent is also showcased on the closer "The Pursuit of """". A ripping, insane guitar riff carries on through the intro, and ends a very well done album.
Overall the band has shown through "The Day the Music Died" that they have matured in their ability to vary their music, and play their instruments to their maximum potential. The album's tunes are catchy, well produced and rarely get repetitive. However, some flaws are rather evident throughout the CD. Most songs clock in at close to 5 minutes or greater, and one song "The Belle of the Ball" just does not know when to end. The over length of many songs creates a sense of not quite repetition, but something of an enough is enough feeling. In a genre as crowded and boring as Metalcore BTS is a breath of fresh air. A band that sticks with what is the norm, but changes things up and adds their own flair to the music. something many bands attempt to do, but fail.
The Clear Best
I'll Call This My Own
Option For the Lonely
True Friends Stab You In The Front
The Clear Worst
With a Gun Smoke Kiss