Here and Beyond

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Band Name Slain (IND)
Album Name Here and Beyond
Type Album
Released date August 2010
Labels Self-Released
Music StyleProgressive Power
Members owning this album0

Tracklist

1. The Dreamer
2. Soldier
3. Your Majesty
4. Superhero
5. Spread Your Wings
6. Angel in the Sky
7. You Don't Have to Be a Star
8. Judgment Call
9. Prodigal
10. Here and Beyond

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Slain (IND)


Review @ heavymetaltribune

13 March 2011

an enjoyable listen for fans of melodic power metal

It seems that ever since India's metal scene gained more notice, extreme metal bands were sprouting day after day, with little mention of the more classic and mainstream metal genres. Slain is one of the few bands that I encounter from India that has decided to go down the "clean singing path", with Here & Beyond being their debut full length release.

The opening track of the album, The Dreamer is filled with the sounds of nature, with bird twitting in the background, before the first proper track, Soldier begins. The melodic guitar line breaks into a keyboard driven strings in the background, before the vocals of Judah is introduced, reminiscent of veteran power metal singers such as Firewind's ex-vocalist Chity Somapala. However, there are times when he breaks into an almost operatic style, that instantly brings Kamelot's Roy Khan to mind, only with a more "raw" quality. On the same song, Soldier, there is a quirky jazz/flamenco acoustic guitar section right before the neo-classical solo, adding an interesting moment to the music. The synth intro on Your Majesty is reminiscent of 80s disco music, and brings to mind songs such as Europe's The Final Countdown. Yet the madness does not stop there as the band seems to pay a tribute to the late Michael Jackson with a short guitar riff in the middle of the song that reminds the listener of his classic hit, Smooth Criminal, before breaking into a short saxophone solo towards the end of the song.

The feel-good guitar solo at the beginning of Superhero brings to mind melodic guitar virtuosi such as Kiko Loureiro's and Joe Satriani's instrumental ballads. On this track, Judah's vocals especially shines, reminding listeners of Bon Jovi, with his emotionally drenched vocals bringing out the feelings of hope in the music. Perhaps one of the few songs on the album that leans more towards the traditional power metal that most are used to is Judgement Call, with the increased pace in the music and the uplifting spirit of the song. But even then, the song is not spared by the creativity of the band, with the inclusion of the soft and acoustic section in the middle of the song before breaking back into full speed.

The female vocals on Prodigal provided by Ruhee brings to mind the Roy Khan/Simone Simmons ballads that tend to be feature on Kamelot songs, though Ruhee's vocals are less operatic and somewhat more "powerhouse" instead. The song however ends off disappointingly, with a fade out just as a solo seemed to begin.

The mix of the instruments though, make the music seem weaker than they really are. While the instruments are mostly mixed well, it seems that Judah's vocals almost always threaten to get buried under the instrumental mix, undermining the power that he holds in his vocal cords. Of course, the "mild" music does not mean that the drums are ignored, as drummer Jared helps in providing the heaviness in the music, with the complex drum rolls even on seemingly simple songs such as Spread Your Wings. Ditto for the slap bass such as on Angel in the Sky, and it is moments such as this that make the quieter parts of the album interesting as well.

The melodic elements of the album certainly makes this release an enjoyable listen for fans of melodic power metal, with the different influences that the band has thrown into the music, with different influences on each tracks making Here & Beyond a different experience from your everyday power metal bands. However, the overall music may be a tad too mainstream for most people though, but this does not reduce my enjoyment of the album!

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