Vocals – Andy Walmsly
Guitars – Tim Yearsley
Guitars – Alistair Bell
Bass – Andrew Workman
Drums – Ed Gorrod
1. The Chronophage
3. Invasive Exotics
A few years have passed from when a less hairy, less grumpy adolescent version of myself first got hooked on Death Metal. Deicide, Cannibal Corpse and Death were frequent bands of choice and were probably instrumental for getting me into extreme music. Death metal has changed. In recent years, the genre has seen it’s fair share of innovators, Bands who were willing to step outside the box and shift away from tried and tested formula of old, in other cases it just doesn’t work as well. That being said, Nottingham’s Beyond Grace are the newest hopefuls trying to make a name for themselves in the crowded genre, the competition is tough, are they good enough?
‘Monstrous’ is the new three track E.P by the self proclaimed “Architects of Omni-Dimensional Death Metal Devastation” and it’s pretty obvious from the get go that these guys know how to play their instruments. There’s enough guitar trickery from Tim Yearsley, Alex Parvis and bassist Andrew Workman, Andy Walmsley’s suitably indecipherable vocals and speedy drumming from Ed Gorrod to tick all the Death metal boxes but ‘Monstrous’ sounds more like a Technical Death Metal/Metalcore hybrid. Don’t be put off by that, there’s plenty of dexterity and variation present here and the band showcase some good ideas.
The opening track, ‘The Chronophage’ is probably the best out of the three, Walmsley exhibits a nice mix high screams and low grunts, the riffs and solo’s are strongest here especially towards the latter stages of the track with a clean intersection followed up excellently with a speedy, sweeped guitar lead. “Inhumanity” follows with some more decent playing from the boys but the short, snappy track fails to grab me like the previous one. Rounding off ‘Monstrous’ is ‘Invasive Exotics’ and the band’s formula remains unchanged. Again, there’s some sharp playing and a discordant clean section which sounded strange on the first listen but grabs your attention and mixes things up a little more than the second track did.
My only real gripe about this E.P is, unfortunately, a big one. It’s not the running time, though 14 minutes is a little on the short side, it’s not because I’d have liked a steelier guitar sound and drums higher in the mix, it’s that none of ‘Monstrous’s three tracks are particularly memorable. When i listen to a CD, I want to be able to pick out my favourite parts or my favourite track and I honestly couldn’t with ‘Monstrous‘.
The opening track shows best what the band are capable of and there’s some great playing all around and some really slick riffing but it all seemed to pass me by leaving little desire to listen again. There’s no doubt Beyond Grace have great potential, I think the material here would be better appreciated in a live environment and with some fine tuning of ideas they could impress with a full length album but they need to work on the identities of their songs.