No scene-politics. No narcissistic self-obsession. Nothing but crushing, cerebral death metal designed to stimulate the senses and expand the mind. This is the ethos of Nottingham-based quartet Beyond Grace, and the driving force behind their new album Seekers, set for self-release 7th July 2017.
Formed (or, more accurately, re-formed) in 2014 with a new line-up, a new name, and a whole new direction, the quartet (recently upgraded to a full five-piece) spent the next few years honing their sound and their live show into something as distinctive as it is devastating, touring and sharing stages with such acts as The Monolith Deathcult, Becoming the Archetype, Darkane, Mithras, and Demonic Resurrection, to name but a few.
In late 2015 the band began the process of recording what would eventually become Seekers, working their way through a variety of setbacks, screw-ups, and acts of (self) sabotage along the way, while also dealing with issues ranging from catastrophic equipment failure to one unexpected (and unsettling) bout of internal bleeding.
But nothing worth having comes easy, and the band’s perseverance has paid off handsomely in a record which takes the ferocious speed and heaviness of death metal and augments it with a host of subtly progressive twists and turns, along with a heavy helping of brooding melody and punishing technicality, culminating in nine tracks of bombastic grooves, blistering blastbeats, and molten metallic riffage… not to mention some impressively lithe and limber fretless bass work and a host of humongous vocal hooks!
Incorporating lyrical inspiration from authors such as Jeff Vandermeer (Apoptosis), Edgar Rice-Burroughs (The Etherealist) and Jeff Noon (Black Math Ritual), the album explores that most human of themes – the search for meaning and purpose in the chaos of existence, whether through science or religion, technology or spirituality – and is crowned by some truly expansive, enigmatic artwork courtesy of Michael Cowell, whose previous credits include work for Crippled Black Phoenix and Alunah, and who also designed the band’s eye-catching new logo.
Set for release both digitally and in a high-quality, six-panel digipak, Seekers is the sound of a band in constant motion, growing, evolving, and challenging themselves to become something more, something better, than before.
Vocalist Andy Walmsley comments, “It’s taken us an unbelievable amount of time to pull this album together. There’s been lots of setbacks and mistakes along the way. Quite a few of them entirely of our own making. But it’s brought us all closer together, made us better musicians, and made us a better band collectively. And that’s what’s most important to us – to be better. Not necessarily in competition with other bands, but for ourselves and on our own terms. To write better, to play better, to keep getting smarter and more creative so we can always be proud of what we do. There’s no room for compromise or half-measures.”