Beyond The Black got some additional focus in Germany when their lead singer Jennifer Haben joined the popular TV format Sing meinen Song (“Sing my Song”) in 2019. Just as the 2020 edition of the show is done and a new set of stars promoted their albums, like the 2020 recordings by Nico Santos or Ilse de Lange, Beyond the Black also are back in the record stores: the symphonic metal band released their Horizons on 19th June 2020.
Beyond The Black – About The Artists
The roots of the band are back to 2014 in Mannheim, when the band has been found. Apart from lead singer Jennifer Haben, however, no member of the original sextet are still part of the band – even though they had quite a massive start: after they send a demo to the organizers, the played the famous Wacken Open Air in their founding year. They also supported Saxon on the February UK tour 2015. In that year, the band also released their debut – Song of Love and Death sold well in the stores and online and peaked 12th spot in the German album charts. The following albums, the 2016 Lost in Forever and the 2018 Heart of the Hurricane even did better, placing fourth and fifth in the charts and having Top 30 rankings in neighboring Austria and Switzerland. Horizons (which is in fact written as Hørizøns) is the band’s fourth studio album.
Beyond The Black – Horizons – Track by Track
The 13 tracks album lasts 55 minutes.
The album starts with the title tracks (this time, without the Scandinavian O, by the way…). Melodic, powerful and a nice contrast between Jennifer Haben as the lead (and female) vocals and Chris Hermsdörfer and Tobias Lodes on the boy’s side. Cool track, even though the arrangement feels very pop-ish – the guitars are
Misery has been one of the songs the band decided to publish as single before the album. Definitely one of the best songs of the album. Powerful, melodic, like as you would expect from that genre. Vice versa, the song also illustrates perfectly how much the project depends on Haben (so it is not too critical that she replaced the whole band already).
3. Wounded Healer
Double female power on Wounded Healer: Amaranthe’s Elize Ryd is joining Beyond the Black in this song. My favorite, also as it moves between powerful and very quiet moments.
4. Some Kind Of Monster
Like some kind of monster, some kind of freak
I feel there’s an evil no longer asleep
Like some kind of monster breaking the chains
I feel there’s a darkness that poisons my veins
What I do, what I say to the ones in my way
I can’t help it, I’m losing it all
Like some kind of monster, some kind of freak
I feel it inside me, it’s buried in deep
Good, very well-to-listen chorus and lyrics. Some Kind Of Monster is just on the edge of metal. It is rock music, definitely – but I feel a bit of sorry for the guys at the guitars. I am sure they would long for “More Power!”
One of the singles so far released from the Horizons album. I cannot deal too well with it. The song is neither a good ballad nor a good metal song. We’re born to die, we are human – and with that kind of music, there are some reasons to take the earlier exit.
6. Golden Pariahs
Golden Pariahs is one of my favorites of Horizons. First of all, this one is undoubtedly metal (though I still struggle with that “defensive” arrangement of the song. At the very least, when Haben sings the repetitive Golden Pariahs, this one catches you. Great!
7. Marching On
Regarding musical quality, this track just cannot keep up with Golden Pariahs. Somehow a nice one, not more. At least, the guitars are allowed to show their power.
8. You’re Not Alone
Major parts of the album feel to be a departure from the metal community. You’re Not Alone is one of the tracks which give the headbangers a tearful farewell. One of the best arranged songs. Metal meets radio sound.
9. Out Of The Ashes
Rock, maybe pop – or still metal? If you move though this triangle of genres and don’t take care, you my quickly reach nether land. Out Of The Ashes is caught in that Bermuda triangle o me..
The chorus of Paralyzed is a quite catching one (and – by the way – quite on the metal corner of the triangle I mentioned before). Some other parts of the songs are just too weak though to make me bang my head.
11. Coming Home
If the band is Coming Home and thereby plays such a powerful guitar cruncher, why the f*ck do you leave your home and do this pop-mainstream stuff? There is quite some talent in that combo (though I feel it decreased with all the band substitutions), but is there a concept?
12. I Won’t Surrender Feat. Tina Guo
Cool sounds in I Won’t Surrender: Tina Guo is a quite famous cellist, who joins Beyond the Black for this song. The cello parts are really intense. The song is a die-hard ballad.
13. Welcome To My Wasteland
Okay, that’s the wasteland then. I have to say that this final track illustrates maybe better than any other song of this album the dilemma in which the band is caught: a metal fan might not even bang his head to this track if you bribe him – but for mainstream listeners it may be a bit too hard. Still, the band found the people in between, who buy this stuff. Activate their potential. They do that, undoubtedly.
Beyond The Black – Horizons – Spotify
Here are the Horizons on Spotify:
Beyond The Black – Horizons – My View
Beyond The Black will sell this one massively – so they won’t care anyway that I don’t like the album. There is no clear concept. Overall, the band is too limited to really survive this fight between feeling metal (which the metal fans likely do not think of Beyond the Black anyway) and pop, where likely more popularity and money is possible. This sound can only be successful if you keep your die-hard community. It will be interesting if the band is able to do that.
German Artist Music Reviews on Flyctory.com
Here are more Media Reviews of the German Artists:
Spotlight – Flyctory.com Interviews
Here are all postings of my interview section Spotlight: