Beyond the Flesh
What the Mind Perceives
posted on 8/2004 By:
What the Mind Perceives is a fantastic debut from the very promising and impressive New Jersey band Beyond the Flesh. These guys are still unsigned, but I cannot imagine that will be the case for very long. They’ve self released a live album and an EP, but What the Mind Perceives is the band’s first full length studio effort. Even before listening to the album it is clear from the start that these guys have their shit together—they have a very impressive website with several mp3s (two from this album), and their site and album have great artwork and graphics. These guys are doing it themselves, and doing it well.
It ain’t just flashy visuals though. These guys have the goods. Beyond the Flesh successfully combine European and American styles into a combination of fairly melodic, technical death/thrash. The comparisons to latter day Carcass are nearly impossible to miss, especially vocally. Singer/guitarist Justin Leary has nailed the dual raspy venomous snarl and guttural death vocals. The songs are all chocked full of killer riffs that effortlessly incorporate technical death and thrash elements, and do so in a way that the technical stuff always serves the melody and the song structure. Very well composed stuff. Senan Solis is a monster on the drums, and doesn’t place a stick wrong throughout the album. Rather than resorting to blasting away, he takes a more precise and complex approach, including making great use of fills and cymbals. The title track is one of many examples of his good work.
The band makes effective use of a few other instruments on a couple tracks, such as a bell and keyboards in “This Life.” They do so by using them sparingly, which provides accents in the songs rather than an overpowering presence. Another standout track is “Wasteland”, which starts out with a twin melodic dual guitar melody in the intro before moving into the verse, which is guitar free, but features some killer percussion and, under the surface, some ambient touches.
There is little to criticize about this album. The most obvious, and perhaps unfair complaint, is that the production could be better. For a self released album the sound is quite good, but I would love to hear what this would sound like with improved recording.
Do yourself a favor and visit Beyond the Flesh’s website. Check out a few tracks, and after you’re duly impressed, order What the Mind Perceives. It may not come from a big label, but it can hang with the big boys. It’s only a matter of time for these guys.
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