So, you say you like Shadows Fall? Well my friends, if you do and you haven't checked out Massachussett's other promising metal act Beyond the Embrace, you are doing yourselves a serious injustice. Combining the 80's thrash metal creativity of Metallica with the melodic death metal stylings of bands like In Flames and Soilwork, the music of Beyond the Embrace is equally heavy, technical, and accessible. The bands three-guitar attack is a joy to hear, as Oscar Gouvela, Jeff Saude, and Alex Botelho weave intricate harmony lines and crunchy rhythms for a bone-shattering sound that is as classy as it is bombastic.
Lead vocalist Shawn Gallagher will instantly remind you of Metallica's James Hetfield on the clean passages, but when he gets brutal beware for a full-on growling assault. On cuts like "Redeemer" the singer puts in a powerful and emotional performance, backed by catchy, melodic lead guitar lines and a pounding rhythm section. There's plenty of brutal thrash on this CD, as evidenced by songs like "FleshEngine Breakdown", "Plague", or the rampaging title track, all which feature tortured screams and killer guitar riffs.
For a band that is still relatively new to the scene, they have a very mature and sophisticated sound, which you can easily hear on the memorable "Weak and the Wounded", a song filled with catchy hooks, complex guitar riffs, atmospheric acoustic passages, plus clean and aggressive vocals. The band goes for the Swedish sound on the dynamic "Absent", which is littered with passionate vocals and weaving, intricate guitar harmonies from the three guitarists.
This is well done metal from a band that is poised for bigger and better things. Heavy, yet melodic, Insect Song is sure to please the thrash, prog-metal, and melodic death metal crowd.
1. Fleshengine Breakdown
3. My Fall
4. ...of every strain
6. Insect Song
8. Weak and the Wounded