Review Summary: Death metal by numbers.
For most, the world of progressive death metal comes with a notion of self-indulgence. Endless bass solos and presumptions of Opeth-ian grandeur have led to a frenzied increasing of mindless noodling, over-blown musicianship as well as decreased songwriting. It begs the question of what a band has to do to stay relevant within their scene, without sacrificing in the areas mentioned above.
The fully-formed technicality that drives Beyond Creation has (for the most part) pushed through the misgivings found within the genre. The introspective nature found on the band’s last few records have evolved past the technical wank-fests plaguing modern technical death metal and their jazzier output allows room for Beyond Creation’s brand of technical death to breathe. The band’s newest offering, Algorythm
not only bridges the gaps between the group’s previous records in Earthborn Evolution
where simpler progression met with a melodic focus and the debut, The Aura
which overly ambitious musicianship repressed the potential quality that Beyond Creation possess. Thankfully, Algorythm
begins to address the issues in between both releases and showcases a band building on its very foundations, encapsulating the very momentum at hand.
Sweeping statements aside, Algorythm
is a technically sound showcase of modern progressive death metal, but kicks off in a predictable fashion. “Disenthrall” is the typical symphonic build into monolithism. “Entre Suffrage et Mirage” is exactly the track listeners want to be hearing off a new Beyond Creation album. The riffs enter the fray fast and furiously, growled vocals tear through the mix, allowing both a sense of urgency and an ability to get lost amidst the tumultuous waves of lunging death metal riffs and blistering double bass. It is simply what it is, Algorythm
in a musical format. Whatever the listeners’ issues with modern death metal there will always be something on offer to placate the old school purists.
The bilingual nature of Beyond Creation may distance some listeners from this Montreal based, Quebec-ian powerhouse, but it doesn’t detract from the Algorythm
experience. With massive tracks like the somewhat brooding “Surface’s Echoes” and the Gojira-esque title track. Beyond Creation borrow only in influence, reinforcing their own style of technically capable death metal. But as the towering layers of death metal lunge from strength to strength there is respite, and a calmness that breaks the album near in two. “À travers le temps et l’oubli” is a key led expression of cinematic atmosphere, releasing all the tension built either side of this graceful wall. Rest assured that the band’s typical gravitational pull to all things heavy returns quickly on arguably the album’s heaviest track, “In Adversity”. At just over three minutes, it’s all groove and sensibly technical prowess on display. While being one of the record’s shortest compositions, there’s still plenty going on in the typical Beyond Creation vein. Bass noodling, sweeping leads, the full assortment of percussive range from the tech death handbook… even Simon Gerard’s deep vocal growls push past the standards found on the group’s previous records and showcase a group of musicians hitting their collective strides.
Beyond Creation are not doing a lot differently from their previous releases, nor are they making pains to do different from similar acts. Algorythm
is simply ‘better’, despite the misgivings of the genre. Overall Beyond Creation’s newest offering stands tall, moving easily from one musical idea to the next. It’s not perfect in mixing it in its bearing but these gripes can be overlooked in simple appreciation of what it takes to be relevant in the technical death metal scene. Beyond Creation have found a monolithic synergy to their music, now they’ve just got to keep the momentum going. Algorythm
isn’t album of the year material, but it’s definitely worth its replay values.