Beneath - Ephemeris,
‘Ephemeris’ is the third full length release from Icelandic death metal titans, Beneath, and was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Fredrik Nordström (Arch Enemy, Dimmu Borgir, In Flames, At The Gates, etc.), at the acclaimed Studio Fredman in the fall of 2016. After the departure of founding member and drummer Ragnar Sverrison, the band teamed up with Mike Heller (Malignancy, Control/Resist, Fear Factory) to handle the drums for the album. Guitarist Jóhann Ingi Sigurðsson said that the album represents a turning point for the band. “We’ve always pushed ourselves in ways that keep us invested and engaged in our music, and on this album, that meant making big changes to our overall sound. There are songs that are a marriage of pure heaviness and brutality, while on the other spectrum there are some very challenging technical arrangements pushing the limits of our playing abilities. In the end, we ended up with an album that feels musically multidimensional and that we are extremely proud of.”
I’m not aware of many metal bands from Iceland (okay, to be honest I can’t think of any), but these prove that there doesn’t need to be a massive scene for a good band to flourish. The guitars are tight and interlocked, the vocals gruff and demonic, the bass and drums pounding as one, and altogether they combine to produce death metal that not only contains real ferocity and venom but also has a groove and passion which is sometimes missing from the genre. There is a breadth and depth to this music, it is far more than just a single expression of musical form, there are multiple strands that have been woven together to create something that is dark, robust and exciting.
Dynamic, dark, intense and interesting, this is a solid find, and well worth discovering if you enjoy the genre but haven’t come across this band before.