Beyond The Sixth Seal - Earth And Sphere
Lifeforce Records
Melodic Death Metal
10 songs (34:45)
Release year: 2002
Beyond The Sixth Seal, Lifeforce Records
Reviewed by Khelek
Archive review

Beyond The Sixth Seal is a relatively unknown and forgotten band in the melodeath arena, a side project of The Red Chord members Mike Mckenzie (guitars/vocals) and Gregory Weeks (bass). I'll admit that I got this album, listened to it once, and didn't come back to it for several years. However after repeated and more focused listens I've come to realize that Earth And Sphere is a great example of powerful, aggressive melodeath that really packs a punch and will get you headbanging in no time.

The intro track, Medusan, begins with melancholy piano notes that lead into the first track, Idol In Human Form which gives us heavy melodic death guitars with the brutal growls of vocalist Mike Mckenzie, who many may know as the guitarist/backup vocalist of brutal technical death giants The Red Chord. This is a pretty good taste of the band's aggressive take on meodic death metal, but the drumming sounds a bit hollow at times and I think the song could use a really face-melting solo, but that’s just me. A Potent Wind is very fast yet still melodic, has a lot of intensity. The vocals are really growing on me already, I enjoy these brutal growls. Awaken has some really great guitar work, the songwriting is catchy and really gets me into the music. This is a song you can headbang to. Sure there is the occasional breakdown but I think it works well. There is also that overtone of melancholy in some of the melodic guitar leads that adds some depth to the song. A Homicide Divine begins with a fast, catchy lead riff with more of the indecipherable growls. I like this song because it's intense but short and doesn't get monotonous as some songs on this album tend to.

This is a band that clearly knows how to do melodic death metal well and in a more brutal style than we often see today. The guitars and vocals are especially well done. Mckenzie has a great death metal growl and also has a somewhat broader range than many vocalists in the genre today. His guitar riffs are original, catchy, and most of all melodic. They really get you excited for the music. The drumming does its part, but may leave you wanting more at times. The bass guitar does help to drive songs forward at times, but often gets somewhat lost in the mix. So, if you're looking for an oldschool take on the melodeath style, i.e. you like bands such as Carcass, At The Gates, or Ravenous-era God Dethroned, this album is for you. There are no keyboards and no synthesizers, just death metal with a touch of melody.

Killing Songs :
A Potent Wind, Awaken, A Homicide Divine
Khelek quoted 80 / 100
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