Beyond The Black’s self-titled fifth album is a statement of intent – a polished, vibrant, and well-rounded affair that stands as a fresh new strain of deceptively heavy melodic metal. Jennifer Haben is backed by guitarists Tobi Lodes (Winterstorm) and Chris Hermsdörfer (Serenity) and drummer Kai Tschierschky, who all joined the band after the second album “Lost in Forever”, in 2016. The Bass and the keys are handled by session musicians, who are not credited for some reason. Also, the new album features guest appearances from Sandro Friedrich on flute & pipe, Amanda Somerville on backing vocals (Kiske / Somerville, Trillium) and Billy King on backing vocals.
The album’s ten songs, clocking in at roughly four minutes each, sound similar to a slightly-less-pompous Nightwish, Within Temptation, Lacuna Coil, with choruses that are catchy yet powerful. The combination of vocalist Jennifer Haben’s powerful vocals, the band’s excellent songwriting, and the production’s grandiose arrangements make for a truly enjoyable listening experience.
Songs such as “Is Anybody Out There?”, “Reincarnation”, “Free Me”, “Winter is Coming”, “Into the Light”, “Wide Awake” and “I Remember Dying” showcase the band’s ability to deliver both symphonic metal anthems along with beautiful and emotional ballads. Jennifer Haben is in top form, deliver some of her best vocals ever. The majority of the tracks are excellent, and the production is full and powerful.
The band’s musical style is accurately represented in the new self-titled album. It keeps the elements that work and adds a plethora of new ones which add depth and texture to their music. It’s a true declaration of intent from a band that can write wonderful songs, has strong musicianship, and knows how to deliver the goods. Ultimately, this album is likely to appeal to the fans of the band, as well as those who fancy symphonic melodic metal.