It’s been a little over 3 years now since Icelandic death metal titans Beneath have released their last album, The Barren Throne, which was a surprise hit for 2014. They carefully blend brutal death with technicality in their song writing. With their new album, “Ephemeris“, this again hits me well as their brutal technicality is again very present. Tempo changes, vocals filled with hatred, very involved song writing, great production across the board and catchy riffing makes this album very fulfilling.
Beneath has a lot of great things going for them, first off they are Icelandic….so that is already bad ass. They fit in well with the other great bands from that region: Zhrine and Misthyrming stick out but it’s mainly black metal or blackened death metal. Beneath stands out since they are all about that crushing riff and headbanging!!! Speaking of riffs, the writing style reminds me of what you would find on the latest Hideous Divinity and Hour of Penance. It’s death metal, yes, but it has had a fine toothed comb carefully go over the songs to find what is not needed and what needs to be added to make it unique. Within the riffs you can find technicality, groove, melodies, catchy chunky palm muted death metal brutality and interesting sections of writing that just gives “Ephemeris” character.
I must admit, the first time I listened to this I wasn’t impressed. How shitty is that? Modern music has become so good and so crazily fanatically well written that when something like this comes out it is not initially impressive. This is for another time when I rant about modern metal and what not. “Ephemeris” is a good listen and I am currently literally on my third listen in a row right now as I type this and I am not bored of it at all. It has amazing replay values to it as you can seriously just put this album on a loop and you will find something creatively new on each listen. Eventually you will have diminishing returns on each listen but after 4 listens today alone, I am not sick of it. Beneath somehow crafted this thing to not feel repetitive, even when you are literally listening to this album on repeat.
The album flows nicely and quickly, you are getting 9 carefully crafted death metal tracks within 36:41 so it feels like it moves much faster than it is. Beneath gives us ANOTHER fantastic death metal album for 2017 and this is just making it more and more hard to put together that end of the year list and we’re only in August! As soon as it’s readily available for consumption, you have to listen to Beneath’s “Ephemeris“, it’ll touch everything you like about this genre and then some.
Release Date: August 18th, 2017
Label: Unique Leader Records
FFO: Hour of Penance, Hideous Divinity & The Kennedy Veil