When the band's sophomore release 'The Beyond' appeared in 2003 , the term post-metal was already old hat, and it's key exponents , namely Isis and Neurosis , were already exploring new territory , particularly with the former's brilliant 'Oceanic' . 'The Beyond' however was a different beast , and although similar in style to the aforementioned bands , it cut it's own niche in the post-metal genre .Heavy as a ton of bull elepahants tumbling down a flight of stairs , but also imbued with a sense of genuine emotion and weight , 'The Beyond' was , and is , a truly crushing experience.
From the second the eerie , oppressive intro of 'Inside Fort Meade' kicks in , we are aware that this isn't going to be a picnic , and we are proved right when the swirling ,vicious riffage of 'Receiver' kicks in ,all topped off with the tormented , anguished yowl of singer Klas Rydberg, a man who throughout the album, sounds as if he's going to hell in handbasket . A pleasingly clear and sharp production by Pelle Henricsson lets the band's brutal riffola breathe and flow , and when the band do turn the volume down, as on the delicate almost Pink-Floyd esque guitar flourishes that open 'Circle ' ,or the stunning ,violin -led breakdown in 'The Watchtower' , it's no less devastating.
The band have since grown in popularity , and amassed a respectable cult( if you'll pardon the pun) following with subsequent albums 'Salvation' , 'Somewhere Along The Highway' and 'Eternal Kingdom' , but none have really equalled the thrilling gut punch of 'The Beyond' . And indeed after listening even once to it, to paraphrase the narrator in Chuck Palahniuk's 'Fight Club' , everything else seems like the volume has been turned down a bit.So , as the hoary old rock cliche goes, play loud.
Stephen O ' Connor