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   BEYOND THE EMBRACE
Against The Elements
2002
Metal Blade
http://www.beyondtheembrace.com


rating: 4/5

1. Bastard Screams
2. Mourning In Magenta
3. Compass
4. Rapture
5. Drowning Sun
6. Against The Elements
7. Release
8. The Bending Sea
9. Embers Astray
10. The Riddle Of Steel
This is the Massachusetts based six piece's debut album and I am pleased to report that it rocks. Beyond The Embrace play melodic death/thrash metal and having three guitars you can probably imagine the power and heaviness of the band. That is supported by a kick ass transparent production where especially the rhythm section is up front in the mix.

Beyond The Embrace's sound is pretty much influenced by European melodic death metal, the famous Gothenburg sound to be more precisely. Most people will agree that they often remind of In Flames or Soilwork. On the other hand, their own country's influences are there as well. Those cannot be found in US death metal but in bands like Metallica or Megadeth though. Also simple classic metal influences are in there. So there you go. Dual guitar leads and great riffs, double bass drumming and pounding bass can for sure be found here. Those are the basics of "Against The Elements". Moods switch between straight forward, heavy (almost brutal) tracks and more laid back, melodic tunes - especially thanks to the mix of roaring death shouts and clean vocals.

Granted, the music isn't highly original (yet) but it's well executed. And there are still a few surprises every now and then. The biggest surprises come in form of two instrumental tracks. Compared to rest of the album these tracks stand out mostly because of their softness and more dreamy atmosphere: "Drowing Sun" having nice keys and a lot of acoustic guitars while "The Riddle Of Steel" does start as heavy as the rest of the songs but has a beautiful ending using only a piano.

If the band let go a bit of their most obvious influences and try to work on their very own sound I'm sure there are some great albums coming our way from Beyond The Embrace in the future.

submitted by Cora 02.02.2003

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