Symphonic metal isn’t something I find myself listening to on a regular basis. I find it’s one of these sub-genres where it has to be done just right such as Nightwish or Within Temptation. If Goldilocks had stumbled across the Three Bears’ house and they had a record collection comprised entirely of symphonic metal, those bands would be Baby Bear’s.
That’s where Beyond the Black come in. Repackaging their second album, Lost in Forever as their international debut is a statement. Although still in relative infancy, Jennifer Haben and company clearly have their eye on frontiers past their native Germany.
There’s great work on display from everyone involved here. With the exception of Haben, the rest of the band have departed but they’ve left her with a great parting gift in this album. The material she has to work with is exceptionally strong.
Lost in Forever balances variation with consistency. Nothing sounds like it’s been done elsewhere in the album yet at the same time; nothing can be singled out as wildly different from the rest of the tracks. Haben’s soaring and melodic vocals are a perfect fit, tying back to the concept of everything having to be just right for this brand of metal.
If you’re not a fan of symphonic metal, this isn’t going to change that but if you do enjoy it, give this a listen. With seventeen tracks, it might seem imposing but they all pass by in a breeze. The last four are bonus tracks for the new international release and if you’ve already got the original version, songs like “The Other Side” and “Dim the Spotlight” should make you part with your hard-earned cash again. As for newcomers, it’s just more to consume.
As an entire unit, it’s a well-crafted band. If it’s so hard to find a weak spot, it’s because it’s not there. No-one delivers a shoddy performance or feels surplus to requirements. Indeed, the music itself is consistently strong, turning in great performances on the melancholic and borderline ethereal numbers alongside the bombastic and gritty ones. Even the harsh vocals which appear on tracks like “Lost in Forever” and “Shine and Shade” don’t feel shoehorned in, rather they bring a new dimension to the music and aren’t used to excess.
Despite the setback of having to recruit virtually an entire new band, Beyond the Black can use that and the re-release of this album to further their momentum. Lost in Forever is proof that when done right, symphonic metal can be enrapturing.
Lost in Forever is out now and can be picked up on Amazon. You can get it as a [amazon text=download&asin=B01MXCHH1X] or on [amazon text=CD&asin=B01MQMNVCJ]. If you’ve got a lot of spare cash kicking about, there’s also the [amazon text=deluxe fanbox&asin=B018WRLB2S]!