For Fans Of
In their prime (the word ‘prime’ used in very loose terms), Beneath the Sky were thereabouts or around the mark. They were far from the worst band trying their hand at a heavy style but they were equally a long way off being considered a top musical act. Returning after a disbandment, hiatus or just an extended break (not sure what the official title/reason was) Beneath the Sky deliver an effort that once again is just that – around the mark.
‘In Loving Memory’ follows a tried and true approach. One could argue the band have been quiet achievers up until now. An initial observation suggests that this third studio album is at pains to arrest this notion. There might not be an overwhelming substance here but the release certainly has a loud resonance that demands attention.
To put this album into a relatable context, we can describe Beneath the Sky’s sound as a composite of Suicide Silence’s screeching growls and downtrodden riffs, with the breakdown fetish of an Emmure coupled with the melodic hooks of Killswitch Engage. You would not call ‘In Loving Memory’ safe but it still has a strong degree of predictability to it.
‘Sorry I’m Lost’ and ‘Tears, Bones and Desire’ are heavy, raw and topped off by melodic chorus sections. While, ‘Terror Starts at Home’ sounds like a Suicide Silence b-side. The album’s title track is probably the finest point of the release, neatly positioned in the middle. Other notable tracks include ‘To Die For’.
Like most albums coming out at the moment, in isolation, there is nothing obviously wrong with ‘In Loving Memory’. The problem though, is while this ten-track offering is solid, and at times rather entertaining it still suffers from an inferiority complex. There are a number of other releases floating around that perfect this sound more effectively. Essentially, it is like having the choice between the NBA and NBL. The latter local product might have its quiet charm and subtly but for the best, most polished and enjoyable option you go for the premier choice.
Big ticks are afforded to Beneath the Sky for toughing it out with record label issues in the past. The Ohio quintet deserves praise for the endeavour and effort shown on ‘In Loving Memory’, as it is perhaps their finest work yet. However, there is still much work to be done and subsequent ground to make up…
‘In Loving Memory’ will offer some thrills but will not have much more of a lasting impact. Something tells me this album and its songs will go down a treat in a live setting – metalheads will have plenty of opportunity to get the pit moving with the abundance of breakdowns present throughout. However, we cannot capture this charm and intensity through merely listening to the album on the stereo.
1. The Opening
2. Sorry, I’m Lost
3. Tears, Bones, and Desire
4. Terror Starts At Home
5. A Tale from the Northside
6. In Loving Memory
7. To Die For
8. Blood and Separation