Beyond Creation - The Aura review
|Release date:||April 2011|
01. No Request For The Corrupted
03. Chromatic Horizon
04. Omnipresent Perception
05. Injustice Revealed
06. Le Détenteur
07. The Aura
08. Social Disability
09. Elevation Path
10. The Deported
11. Injustice Revealed [demo] [2013 re-issue bonus]
Beyond Creation are a relatively young technical death metal band hailing from no other place than Quebec, the Mecca of tech death, Canada, the home of the awesomely weird musical ideas.
The Aura, their debut, is a death metal album but a very non-intrusive one, and even somehow pleasant to the ear. Although the extreme elements typical for technical death metal are present, the music overall has a very melodic framework and a great sense of direction; so, it is very easy to listen to, particularly due to what Beyond Creation play and how they do it. I like to think about their music in terms of soundscapes because the songs sound as if all the instruments blended into one tightly intertwined whole. This, I believe, happens due to a few factors.
First, Beyond Creation play very precisely and create something like a unified sonic torrent with their music. Second, the fretless bass creates a particularly deep foundation for the guitars, which often use "wide chords:" utilizing the upper register strings and laying out the chord note by note. And of course, the modern "wall-of-sound" production contributes to that effect. The sound is clear enough - but nevertheless brutal - to dissect the music and focus on each particular instrument on any song; it is also one of the main factors contributing to the easiness of comprehension of The Aura.
Since we are talking about technical death metal here, the songs do not have rigid structures, but they also do not cross the line of incoherence. There are repeating verses and choruses, but musicians often develop the song into a lengthy multi-part bridge (also using breakdowns) and only then bring the song home. Calm, "shoegaze" parts (or even songs, e.g. "Elevation Path") find their way into the album too.
The musicianship and songwriting is top-notch on the Aura: outstanding leadwork and soloing and juicy riffs sometimes reminiscent of Gorod's groove and Obscura's technical brutality, virtuosic fretless bass lines spawned by Dominic "Forest" Lapointe of Quo Vadis and Augury fame, and rather diverse drumwork, both assaulting and laid-back, but overall very progressive. A separate matter is the vocals, something I was missing for some time: Simon Girard's cords yield many types of screams ranging from deep guttural to higher-pitched growls to something comparable to pig squeals. One last but important point is that, after all, Beyond Creation manage not to overplay their instruments, a problem pertinent to tech death more than any other genre.
Given all this, I could understand why The Aura might not appeal to everyone for sounding too mechanical and over-polished or even getting a bit tiresome on some listens. Granted, this is not a perfect album but there are no major flaws here either. Therefore, The Aura is an outstanding accomplishment in the genre of tech death and a great addition to the unorthodox Canadian metal scene.
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| Mario Montes
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