Beyond Deth – The Age of Darkness Review

Band: Beyond Deth
Album: The Age of Darkness
Label: Vargheist Records
Genre: Death / Thrash Metal
Country: United States of America
Release Date: July 24th, 2019

Hailing from the prolific city of Chicago, Beyond Deth began life as a Blackened Thrash outfit that has since shifted towards a traditional Death/Thrash sound. The three-piece consists of Luke Nissen on bass, Jon Corston on guitars and vocals, and Matt Baranski on drums; together they have released two demos, and their full-length was self-released last year. The Age of Darkness is the final of the trilogy of re-releases in July by Vargheist Records; it has been impressive to see how much buzz these three releases have gotten and promising for the futures of all involved.

Thrash is generally not my genre, and with Death/Thrash, to say I’m picky would be a wild understatement; when a band in these pockets manages to get my attention, they are among the top-tier. I’ve seen many Thrash-slash-whatever bands live and each time I’m into it, but when it comes to the recorded material, it always lacks something. The first thing I noticed about Beyond Deth was how headbangable it was; it hooked me right away with the blazing guitar and the pounding drums. These ten tracks are the sole experience I have with Beyond Deth, but comparing these tunes to others, they must destroy live; on CD these songs engross me in their world of riffs, growls, pounds and crashing.

Luke Nissen is a formidable bassist, serving as the bridge connecting the guitars to the pummeling low end of the drums; slithering through the sharp rollercoaster ride constricting the posts together, adding both strength and weight. The drums by Matt Baranski have to match the intensity and the variety of the frenzied guitars and manage to do this and exceed expectations; keeping with the galloping style of many of the sections, but utilizing a diverse blend of everything the kit has to offer. The riffs are what stand out the most on this album; they are memorable, catchy without losing any punch, and the true driving force of each song, and the entire album. I’m forced to assume, from the consummate professionalism of the songwriting, that each song came with a riff, and the rest was structured around it. Most often Jon Corston delivers fast gallops, but when he mixes it up that is when the magic happens; unique riffs that hook you and raise the songs to new heights.

Age of Darkness is a really good debut from a talented band that knows their way around a riff with some songs being much better than others, but not a dud to be found. The Cold was the first proper song and had a predictable but fun thrashy edge to the Death Metal pummeling. Later songs, notably Memories of War and Search the Stars ditch this approach for an intriguing riff style that is much more engaging and interesting. I found this release to back a bit better on the back-end overall; the opening songs are good but end up sounding too similar, where the last few have a distinct personality. This is usually my issue in general with Thrash integrated sub-genres other than the vocal; too many bands rely on rigidly structured songs and similar riffs across their body of work. Beyond Deth are different, and they have piqued my interest with this release as well as giving hope for something even better in the future from this fierce trio.

Rating: 7/10

1. Enter the End
2. The Cold
3. Age of Darkness
4. Burn His Eyes
5. Beyond Deth
6. Rip Out Your Soul
7. Memories of War
8. Goddess Isis
9. —
10. Search the Stars

Total Playing Time: 41:23

Click Here To Visit Beyond Deth’s Bandcamp

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