Beyond The Black
‘Lost In Forever’
2016 release from Airforce1 Records.
Jennifer Haben – Vocals. Nils Lesser – Guitar. Christopher Hummels – Rhythm guitar, backing vocals. Erwin Schmidt – Bass. Michael Hauser – Keyboards. Tobias Derer – Drums.
Artist location: Germany.
4.5 out of 5 stars rating.
Reviewed by David.
- Lost In Forever.
- Beautiful Lies (Featuring Rick Altzi).
- Written In Blood.
- Against The World (Kissin’ Dynamite cover).
- Beyond The Mirror.
- Halo Of The Dark.
- Dies Irae.
- Forget My Name.
- Burning In Flames.
- Shine And Shade.
- Heaven In Hell.
- Love’s A Burden.
- Night Will Fade (Bonus track, Tour Edition).
- Dim The Spotlight (Bonus track, Tour Edition).
- The Other Side (Bonus track, Tour Edition).
- Our Little Time (Bonus track, Tour Edition).
- Rage Before The Storm (Featuring Herbie Langhans) (Bonus track, Tour Edition).
I am very late in getting this reviewed as it released at the beginning of 2016 not long before I started the site, and again find myself needing to apologize for that to the band, though better late than never I suppose.
Honestly I was rather hesitant about going in to this record, after all it did release a mere one year, almost to the day, after the release of this German symphonic melodic metal band’s first album, ‘Songs Of Love And Death‘. I love the debut album and sure, I had heard the first single, the title track, from the new album prior to it releasing and absolutely loved it, but I was afraid that in the rush to get the sophomore album out in such a quick timeframe that the writing would suffer and not be quality work or live up to the debut.
Well, thankfully, not only was I wrong as they managed to keep the writing and the song quality bar set very high, but they actually outdid that first record and came out with an even better sophomore album that has very little to find fault in.
These guys really remind me so much of how Within Temptation has sounded since they changed up their sound some in 2007. It has that same symphonic metal sound steeped in big melodies and terrific vocals from the beautiful Jennifer Haben who has an equally beautiful voice.
Though the original band members are all present on this album, just a few short months after releasing the record the band all parted ways and only Haben remains out of the original members and she has continued on with the band name with a whole new band backing her.
Now obviously going in to the record I had no idea that I was in store for a superior album to the first, so upon receiving the disc, I hesitantly put it in the player and set back to listen to what I was sure was going to be a dud.
Well the album started out very strongly with songs like the title track (click on link near the top of the page to see the video), ‘Beautiful Lies‘, featuring the considerable talents of the great Rick Altzi of Masterplan fame, and ‘Written In Blood‘. Three great rockers that give us a very strong start indeed and I continued on with increasing interest to track four.
Some of you make recognize this next one, ‘Against The World‘, as coming from fellow German band Kissin’ Dynamite’s debut record, ‘Steel Of Swabia‘, in 2008. I really like this song, from both bands, and Haben delivers one of the best vocals of the album here. It is definitely one of the standout tracks of the record for me. A terrific cover.
‘Beyond The Mirror‘ gets the pace back up to full-on rocker with another terrific track and it brings us into ‘Halo Of The Dark‘ which really sounds like something from a Within Temptation record. It starts off soft and mellow before picking up with some blazing guitars and turning into a fantastic rock track.
As soon as ‘Dies Irae‘ cranks up then you know it is a bit more of a gothic sounding track then anything heard on the record thus far, complete with the choir singing in Latin in the chorus. Not a bad song at all but not one I would find myself skipping tracks to listen to.
‘Forget My Name‘ is another rocker that really has a strong Within Temptation vibe to it. A great song.
Track nine, ‘Burning In Flames‘, is another more gothic sounding track that leads us into ‘Nevermore‘. Great chorus here on this fast rocker and a terrific song, but it leads us into track eleven, ‘Shine And Shade‘, which is the only track that I really don’t care much for. Not due to the melody because that is actually pretty good, but due to the growling male vocals in the verses. That is not my thing at all. The chorus however is very good and actually reminds me a bit of something you would hear from an Avantasia album. Toss the growling and replace it with clean vocals and this would be a really good song.
‘Heaven In Hell‘ is another fast paced rocker that is not really a bad song, but melody wise I would say is the weakest of the album as there is no real hook to it to these ears.
‘Love’s A Burden‘ is the final track on the regular edition of the album and it ends the record on a beautiful slow, mellow ballad with another terrific vocal from Haben and some great acoustic guitar work.
There are two different editions of the album available that contain bonus tracks on them and there are a total of five tracks between the two. These bonus songs start with the ‘Night Will Fade‘. This song start mellow with a flute playing softly before Haben starts singing and the song builds slowly throughout the track and turns into a terrific, moody rocker.
‘Dim The Spotlight‘ is one of my favorite songs of the album, actually from the band period. An upbeat, keys heavy, extremely satisfying rocker that has a little bit of a different vibe from the rest of the record. Excellent track and almost worth getting the Tour Edition for alone. Fantastic vocals. Excellent song.
‘The Other Side‘ has a bit of a different melody to it and honestly it took an extra spin or two to get into but it turned out to be a fine track that I rather enjoy now.
The bonus tracks end on two very strong rockers. ‘Our Little Time‘ is an excellent, heavy song with a great chorus and ‘Rage Before The Storm‘ is a hard rocking duet with Herbie Langhans (Sinbreed) that ends the record on a high note and leaves you wanting more from this outstanding band.
There aren’t any tracks on the record that I completely dislike, but there are one or two that I am not overly fond of. However listening to the album as a whole there is not one track that seems out of place and I absolutely love the album. I was a fan of the band with their first record but after this one I just love them.
Fans of female fronted symphonic metal and bands such as Within Temptation and Nightwish will likely love this one and eat it up as I have. Just go check them out.
Very well written songs, fantastic vocals, loud guitars, string arrangements and very catchy melodies all combine to make this one very satisfying album that has taken the band to the next level. I can’t wait to see what Haben and company deliver next.
Very highly recommended.
‘Lost In Forever’.
‘Beautiful Lies’. ‘
Written In Blood’.
‘Against The World’.
‘Beyond The Mirror’.
‘Halo Of The Dark’. ‘
Burning In Flames’.
‘Night Will Fade’.
‘Dim The Spotlight’.
‘Our Little Time’.
‘Rage Before The Storm’.