Beneath – Ephemeris (Review)

BeneathBeneath are an Icelandic death metal band and this is their third album.

2014’s The Barren Throne was an album that stuck out with its brutal and precise delivery, yet also demonstrated the band’s use of subtle melody and nuanced riffing on occasion.

Ephemeris sees the band returning with a shorter, focused album of condensed surgical brutality and forward-thinking intrigue. The tracks on this latest release are just as brutal as ever, but with an increased technical presence in certain areas. Beneath take quite an intricate approach to some of the riffs on this album, which, alongside a sci-fi theme, enhances the overall feelings of sophistication that come off the music in technologically-augmented waves.

Although there are plenty of aspects of cutting-edge, modern death metal content on display across this album, this is not the style that completely describes what Beneath do. Ephemeris certainly has that ultra-modern, polished veneer, but there’s more than just this here. Some of the parts of the songs are quite old-school in delivery, (despite the modern appearance), such as some of the solos or more melodic sections.

Other parts of the songs start to draw in some progressive death metal influences, which should probably come as no surprise considering the band have pushed their technical playing to its limits for this release, and the two often go hand in hand.

There’s even some quite dreamy atmospheric playing in certain areas of the album, usually a particular intro or outro of a song, but not always.

These various different sub-styles – modern, old-school, melodic, progressive, technical, atmospheric – are all kept in check by the rampant brutality of the music as a whole, and grounded by the deep, guttural growls of the singer. The end result is an extremely enjoyable album that offers both style and substance to the listener.

Highly recommended indeed. Check it out.

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2 thoughts on “Beneath – Ephemeris (Review)

  1. I wasn’t into their earlier material but these songs really grab me due to their use of different styles. I follow a few different metal review sites and I have to admit your s is right at the top. Keep up the good work!

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