Beyond Terror Beyond Grace
posted on 4/2012 By:
When I first started looking into Australia’s Beyond Terror Beyond Grace, I was a bit hesitant to give them a shot. I was told to expect “shitty grindcore, emphasis on the shitty”, which was not exactly encouraging. Whatever the case might have been for their previous albums, Nadir is moody, intense, and often disturbingly beautiful. Those who were dissuaded by BTBG’s past material should let go of their grudges and explore this album, which (pardon the excessive genre tag) is a phenomenal work of atmospheric blackened death metal.
The eerie distress signal of sound during “Requiem for the Grey” adds a chilling atmosphere to an already brooding piece. Even when the pummeling drums and raging riffs relent, the buzzing wail remains before fading into the next track, “Throatless Sirens”. While I’m not thrilled with the drum production on the album (blasts quietly melt into the background, while the bass drum has an uncomfortably high pop), the drumming itself is extremely well thought out and dynamic. The bleak and painfully melancholy walls of sound created by rumbling yet melodic riffs, paired with Blake Simpson’s tortured rasps and guttural growls, give this album a great deal of emotional depth.
The gorgeous title track stands out as a calm but powerful post-rock piece, with steady drums building up layers of emotional intensity set in motion by simple and devastatingly beautiful guitars. This song sounds as though it was written by a completely different band, and shows off BTBG’s versatility. “Nadir” is three minutes of pulsing and instrumental sonic elegance.
“Embracing Null” follows its namesake a bit too closely at first, and the heavy doom pace drags slightly. The song improves with time, although it doesn’t quite measure up to the preceding tracks, functioning less as an independent piece and more of a ‘soundtrack’, dependent on the imagery created by the listener. Still, it seems to be one of those tracks that would be absolutely crushing live, and I hope to be able to test this theory at some point in the near future. “The Blood Of Time” follows the same basic structure, with dense waves of sound punctuated by excellent rhythmic interpretation. The end buzzes and whines into the beginning of “Pathea”, which serves as a brief atmospheric fragment to close the album. There are interesting little sonic morsels that crop up amidst the steady drone, and it keeps the listener riveted up until the very last second.
For people craving grindcore, this is not the record for you. However, if you believe that atmospheric death metal is a dish best served blackened, then you’ll enjoy the sonic spread that BTBG has brought to the table.
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