Sunyata – The Great Beyond (Review)

Sunyata - The Great BeyondThis is the debut album from UK atmospheric doom metal solo act Sunyata.

The artist describes Sunyata’s music as a mix of funeral doom and modern classical. Although this serves as a decent description, it doesn’t quite do justice to the wealth of rich content that’s to be found on The Great Beyond.

The classical elements are perfectly blended with the doom metal, making for a complete, holistic experience. Unlike some bands that try to merge different styles such as this, one cannot exist without the other here, so ingrained are they in their counterpart’s existence. Epic and Ethereal, with a sci-fi theme and feel, these four 10-minute tracks are highly compelling. Immersive in their rich atmosphere and cinematic grandeur, listening to The Great Beyond is like being transported into a great work of cosmic speculative fiction.

Although the funeral doom tag has been applied to this, it’s a softened version due to the other elements of the music. This is not an album of colossal guitars and deep growls; this is all about layered atmosphere and spacefaring moods. In the place of grim distorted guitars you have dark ambient soundscapes and synth-driven melancholy. In places of soul-swallowing growls you have the sort of clean vocals that you’d normally find on either a progressive metal album or a choral one. To be fair, there are heavier parts to this release, and there are occasional growls too, but they’re not the stars of the show by any means.

This is orchestral/classical atmospheric doom that’s been taken to the next level. The Great Beyond sounds like precious little else out there in the crowded metal world, and really is an experience not to be missed. Ripe with emotion and nuanced delivery, the artist behind Sunyata is to be commended on his work.

I highly recommend that you have a good listen to this one.

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