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Slain: Here and Beyond

The recent explosion in the Indian metal scene has gained quite a bit of notoriety among metalheads worldwide, but most of these emerging bands have gravitated more towards the extreme variants of the genre. Enter Slain, a six-piece band from Bangalore, who embraces the softer side of metal on their debut full-length, Here and Beyond. No growls, blast beats, or even ominous atmospheres are present on this album - quite a stark contrast when one considers some of the leaders of the Indian metal resurrection! This is ultimately a double-edged sword; on one hand you have a band that really "lifts the spirit" (so to speak), but, on the other hand, I can see Slain's frequent commercial tendencies alienating most metal fans. No matter which camp you fall into, Here and Beyond is a great debut from this talented young band - any fan of melodic metal should give these lads a try. Slain has a knack for creating interesting and catchy songs, and that's ultimately what this type of music is about.

Slain plays a style of progressive melodic/power metal with heavy AOR sensibilities. There are times where I hesitate in calling Here and Beyond "metal", but there are ultimately enough heavy riffs to have this qualify as a melodic metal album. Keyboards are frequently present throughout the album, and ultimately give Here and Beyond a bit of a neo-prog sensibility. The musicianship is professional, if not overtly complex, and the production is decent as well. The drums sound a bit weak, but it's certainly not a huge setback.

All in all, Here and Beyond ended up being quite a pleasant surprise for me. Slain is a group of talented musicians playing their music confidently, and the result is a very pleasing progressive melodic metal album. 3.5 stars are well-deserved for this impressive release - Slain is definitely among the more promising acts coming out of India right now. And, before I forget - check out that excellent artwork from Manek D'Silva! That is a great cover right there!

Track Listing:
1. The Dreamer / Soldier 06:08
2. Your Majesty 04:35
3. Superhero 06:41
4. Spread Your Wings 05:23
5. Angel in the Sky 06:07
6. You Don't Have to Be a Star 04:53
7. Judgment Call 05:28
8. Prodigal 05:59
9. Here and Beyond 06:35
Total Time: 51:49

Added: March 31st 2011
Reviewer: Jeff B
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2283
Language: english

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