Those who have been following my writings in the pages of the magazine , on here, or on Twitter (@JeffTreppel) will probably have figured out that I'm not the biggest death metal guy. So, for a death metal band to catch my attention, they really have to be something special. Beyond (Germany) fit that criteria. Their full-length debut, Fatal Power of Death (accurate, if somewhat redundant), brings the old-school horror. This is evil, filthy stuff, but with an unbelievable groove the way your Swedish grandmother used to make it. It'll kick your ass and then rub your face in some blackened chaos. I'm super psyched to present an exclusive stream of the full album below, and here's an interview with guitarist R. for some reading material while you listen. What dark forces conspired to get you to start this band? It's impossible to mention all of them but I'll try to elaborate as detailed as possible. The main reason anyone involved in BEYOND started writing music was because we felt real inspiration. Especially in the beginning you simply know that there's alot of stuff lacking in death metal music these days and someone just had to pick up the weapons (if you will) to start fighting against all the crap that get's called „death metal“ these days. That would be the bottom line but there's way more to it.
Way before I ever got in touch with heavy metal I was way more interested in paranormal things and other really wicked stuff than the usual worldly textbook material anyone learns in life. You see, it wouldn't surprise anyone now that someone like me easily got into stuff like POSSESSED, BATHORY, NECROVORE just to name a few old ones everyone may know.
You can tell something similar about Roland (founder of Shapeless and then BEYOND). It was just a matter of time both of us would pick up an instrument to orchestrate the profound darkness and brutality that would be lurking in our minds.
Did you have a direction for the cover art, or did the artist create it on his own? Yes we did, we wanted Manuel to create a chaotic mass with demonic and harsh faces and everything. We gave told him basically what to do. But the painting itself was done from scratch using his own inspiration and it is truly a great one. We're absolutely satisfied with the work of Mr. Tinnemanns.
Are there any specific lyrical themes you explore on the record? Most of it deals with extreme violence and ugly darkness, such as Consuming Black Void. However we also have a number like Schizopsychotic Eruption that describes insane force-fed mental disorders that some of us occasionally experience. The whole chaotic riffing in that song completely fits to the message. Appearance from Beyond is an older number that has hints to the paranormal world that all of us are inspired by. We specifically changed the ending of the song from the original demo version to make it fit more with the lyrics.
Why did you decide to go with Patrick Engel to produce the album? Simply because we know what kind of capabilities this guy has. If you want a churning death metal record sound the way it has to sound – without becoming too cleaned up, you just have to pick someone like this. Easy choice.
Why the relative anonymity with the band member names?
Using first letters for the band member names just came along all naturally. This may change in future, however we think it's useless these days to know the people behind the music, because I as a music fan rather care for the musical work than the people behind this.
Beyond - Fatal Power of Death by DecibelJeff