Review 2113 : Beyond the Hate – Darkest Times – English

Beyond the Hate remains pessimistic with its debut album.

After a first EP in 2020 and a few singles, the band comprising Niko Kalinainen (vocals), Kimmo Perälehto (guitar), Jyrki Karhu (guitar), Mikko Monto (bass) and Tommy Uhtio (drums) joins the Inverse Records roaster to announce Darkest Times.

The album kicks off with Sign Of Weakness and its lingering keyboards, followed by heady melodies that eventually ignite while remaining chilling, leaving the vocal parts to lead the way. The track however flies by rather quickly unlike Alone I Die, which settles in more calmly before revealing its impressive aggression with touches of beauty and a few bursts of clean vocals to contrast the massive approach. The final remains in this airy softness, leading us into The Lighthouse and its vivid yet haunting tones that remain very compact despite a few moments of release, then keyboards begin Black Within with a perfect more comforting touch to welcome the clean expressive voice of Katri Hiovain-Asikainen (Numento). The duo lead the way in their bewitching rhythmic flow before The Plague Upon Us calms the movement, anchoring it in an obvious but relatively fascinating darkness, letting the guitars bring cutting tones just as on Left Behind, which offers a more jerky approach combined with its ambient melancholy. The band remains anchored in melodic roots on the introduction to Dark Is The Sky, but some Black Metal influences join the more virulent parts, nuanced by enchanting backing vocals, while Dead Ones couples a Doom/Death approach with epic riffs and much rawer vocal parts. A suffocating heaviness reappears on Stranger in Me, decorated with dissonant throbbing leads and cavernous vocals, but the mix is subjected to several accelerations, including a final virulent one, before giving way to Times of Misery and its mysterious harmonics, which skilfully frame a few heavier passages. The musicians follow up with The Last Moments, where guitars fly together over a solid basis to feed this breeze of freshness, sometimes strengthened by faster riffs, then it’s in the company of Jaakko Mäntymaa (Marianas Rest) that In Memoriam, the album’s last and longest composition, comes to end this intense hour by adding a visceral touch to this cold and harmonious but merciless universe.

In an hour’s time, Beyond the Hate has put words and melodies to melancholy. Darkest Times is only their first full-length, but it speaks volumes for the musicians’ dedication and mastery of their chilling art.


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