Album Review: “Heart Of The Hurricane” by Beyond The Black

34729747_951670208326241_2834433232856940544_nWe’re back with another review! This time I am talking about symphonic metal with a band that I have discussed on here in the past, it was their album “Lost In Forever” that I actually listen to almost every other month now. The band recently released their third album “Heart Of The Hurricane” in late August, and you would be very proud of me, because I have not listened to a single song–even though I really wanted to every time I saw one pop up on my Spotify–so my thoughts on the songs themselves will fresh and I seem to like it better to go about it that way.

Here’s a little background on the band, they are originally from Germany, leading the bunch is Jennifer Haben while Chris Hermsdörfer and Tobias Lodes play guitar and do some backing vocals. Stefan Herkenhoff is on bass, Jonas Roßner plays the keys and finally Kai Tschierschky does the drums. The album consists of 15 songs, which is more than I usually review on here, but I thought what the hell! So, let’s get this party started!

We start off the album with a song called “Hysteria” and this has a nice heavy metal sound with the guitars being at the center of the beginning and I like the balance between the orchestra’s light tone against the harsh guitars together, and Jennifer along with the choir, keep that soft element there throughout despite the fact that the track is about chaos. I thought that was kind of interesting! It was pretty mild to what I kind of expected but I liked it nonetheless though. Second is the title track “Heart Of The Hurricane” and I definitely like how this one starts, it’s heavy but when Jennifer comes on, the guitars die down. I had a hard time keeping myself still while listening to it the first time, which is a really good sign! I was slightly jumping up and down on my bed and whenever it got quiet, I turned to swaying side-to-side and I can’t wait to learn the lyrics to it. Next is “Through The Mirror” and a piano begins the song off which surprised me because you hardly ever hear songs like this towards the start of the album. Of course, the sound explodes into this monstrous ballad. I really like it.

 “Million Lightyears” is the fourth song and I’m not going to lie, I kept picturing Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story when I first read the title of it. I’m sorry, I couldn’t help it! This has a different start, as it was a male singer, and it kind of threw me off because I couldn’t see a featured artist, so it could either be Chris, Stefan, or Tobias. However, I do like the deeper tone of his voice against Jen’s soaring vocals. It gives the song an extra edge so it’s good! We move on to “Song For The Godless” and once I saw this title, I was really intrigued; I just knew I was going to like the suspense of not exactly knowing what was going to happen with this song. The introduction in this one is so good! It has this exotic element but fierce drumming coming together, everything that I wanted was in this song! The only thing that would have made it better was if that drumming was as loud as it was throughout the choruses. I think that would have been interesting, but the song is really good otherwise!

Next there’s “Escape From The Earth” which is another song that grabbed my attention right away and it has a somber undertone that you hear immediately. I liked the fact that it was softer, but it had some interesting edges to it with the fast strumming in the mist of the second verse, so it sort of changed the tempo and direction of the “normal” ballad. I also enjoyed the very loud slap of the drums, unfortunately I don’t know anything but drums but I still liked that little surprise because it made that song even better. Now, we have “Beneath A Blackened Sky” and I’m happy to say that this is another heavy epic track. The haunted sounds of the orchestra, with the choir singing in the introduction really excited me, but those elements kind of took a back step whenever Jennifer would start singing. They would start up again towards the choruses so I wasn’t that disappointed with it! It’s actually a really good track.

The eighth song is “Fairytale Of Doom” which made me really curious, because the first thing that popped into my head was a darker turn of Alice In Wonderland, although I had clue to what I would actually hear when the song played. I think this has a bit of a thrash-y sound to it, as the symphonic part of it isn’t as powerful, but I thought it was okay to go that route. Honestly, I would have been mad if they had went a sweeter and angelic sound with this, so instead they went with a hardier vibe that still told a good story. This one sort of threw me off, it’s called “My God Is Dead” and I’m always worried with these types of songs, but knowing the genre itself, they’re not talking about their lives, rather than a character made for the album itself. The track is a nice ballad again, but I really enjoyed whoever does the harsh vocals in the choruses, it was different but not enough to  divert the sound as a whole a lot.

We have “Dear Death” next and here was another title that got me wondering, I really enjoy doing that, I rarely expect how it’s going to sound but I try to guess the story behind it. I think it’s the storyteller in me! Anyways, I’m glad that it has a hefty sound in the beginning but honestly that really dies down as it continues to the point where I kind of grew to not like it. I can’t really explain it. So, let’s move on to the other song, “Scream For Me” and I really like it! The introduction made me slightly worried because they have a lot of mellow songs and I thought this was just another one, but they gave us a big surprise as the choruses are explosive! Everything is heightened and for once, I liked the guitar solo! I hardly ever like the solos anymore.

The last four songs, and we start with “Freedom” and it definitely has more of a power metal vibe going on, if you like to headbang, you can really do it with this one. I like the creepy and slow notes of the piano in the background with all of the chaos being center stage. I’m happy that Jennifer was able to control her voice in that type of environment . My voice would have been all over the place and that’s the truth! Next there’s “Breeze” which sounds sweet when you first read it, and then when it starts to play and you Jen’s voice basically stripped down with only a piano, strings and a choir gave it a classy tone and it’s the perfect calm down after the previous song! It’s really pretty!

“Echo From The Past” is the fourteenth song of the album. It seems like we go back to the mild soundings, as the it has a mysterious introduction with what sounds like church bells ringing in the background leading to some of the rough guitars. It wasn’t what I was expecting but I like that about it. And finally, the last song is “Parade” and I was utterly surprised with this because if I didn’t know any better, I’d say this had some electronic elements in it! I don’t really know what to say about it, other than it’s interesting but it’s not my favorite off the album.

I am officially done! I have to say, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into with this album mostly because I’ve only listened to one album all the way through and I kind of liked it, whereas this one was slightly boring. It didn’t keep me interested and they all just blended together in a bad way unfortunately. It’s a nice effort in my opinion.

What do you think about Beyond The Black’s new album “Heart Of The Hurricane”? Did you like it or were you not pleased with it at all?

snowflake

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