Beyond The Labyrinth - Chapter III-Stories,
The third BTL album came out in 2011 with a slight line-up change from the last, for this the band were a four-piece with songwriter Geert Fieuw providing keyboards as well as guitar with the departure of Danny Focke. There is also a new drummer in Michel Lodder, while Jo de Boeck (vocals) and Gerry Verstreken (bass, vocals) are still here from before. Like their previous works, this is an extremely polished hard rock album with progressive undertones – with Savatage and Heep right at the forefront of influences. Jo’s singing appears to be even stronger, and the whole band are really kicking. Since the recording of the album they have added a second guitarist in Mark Wenkin which I find an interesting move, as I presume it means that in the live environment Geert will be playing either guitar or keyboards depending on the song – but it means that they will be able to have a heavier attack when they need it, something that is going to be very powerful indeed.
Beyond The Labyrinth are easily the best Belgian hard rock band I have ever come across, but now is the time to stop thinking of just their own country as these guys have proved that they have the songs and the musical ability to go all the way. Visit their site at http://www.beyond-the-labyrinth.com/ for details of how to purchase their albums and also to see when they are playing near you. They have been playing festivals as well as support earlier this year for bands like Pagan’s Mind, and lovers of melodic hard rock need to check these guys out. Superb.