posted on 8/2007 By:
I’m not a huge power metal fan but that didn’t stop Beyond Fallen’s second full-length, Mindfire, from making a positive impression on me. If you’re a fan of Maiden, Primal Fear and harder-edged acts like Nevermore, this US act is definitely worth investigating. Beyond Fallen may fit neatly into the power metal category but they have other elements to their sound, including big doses of melodic thrash and classic hard rock. From a musical point of view, this album has all the bases covered. The playing is superb throughout, with the vocals and guitars being most impressive. Mindfire has also been given a top-notch production job which has brought out all the instrumentation with clarity and punch.
Like other bands in their genre, Beyond Fallen has a thematic preoccupation with war and tales of battle and bravery, but these guys avoid the cheesiness that sometimes plagues their contemporaries. The lyrical intelligence found on Mindfire certainly sets it apart, and the album’s sleeve and band photos have a restrained, contemporary feel that may help Beyond Fallen broaden their appeal outside the power metal community. While songs like “Act Of War”, “Blood On The Ice” and “Sniper” contain enough chest-beating and battle imagery to get the heart racing, they are nicely balanced by songs which address issues such as ignorance, corruption and superficiality (see “Enemy Of An Open Mind”, “Illusion Of Life” and the title track). It is on these songs where vocalist Joe Karavis shifts from an already impressive Maiden-esque styling to a truly impassioned and aggressive delivery. There are even some rousing gang back-ups to boot.
There are more than a few highlights on Mindfire. The opening “Act Of War” kicks the disc off in exciting fashion with its galloping rhythms and some exceptional double-kicking. “Blood on the Ice” has a classic head-banging thrash beat and excellent, melodic soloing, as does “Sniper”. But my song of choice would be “Fields Of Honour”, an instrumental halfway through in which the leads of guitarists Steve Jasuilewicz and Mike Johnson are powerfully emotive and the thumping mid-sections recall vintage Metallica, and that’s a huge plus in my book.
Whether you’re a straight-up power metal junkie or simply a fan of well written, well played metal in general, Beyond Fallen has something to offer. This band has the musical finesse and production values to hook you in, but it’s their darker sensibilities, as well as the passion and energy of their delivery that are the real stand-out qualities on Mindfire. Recommended.
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