Betoken – Beyond Redemption

Cross over genres seem to have become more and more common these days, as bands take influences from many different sources in many different subgenres. Riding a line between thrash and power metal, Betoken deliver a hybrid performance of operatic drama and speedy, hard-hitting instrumental.

At its core, Beyond Redemption could be a straightforward thrash album with its healthy doses of blistering guitar work and double bass, particularly in a few tracks that would fit in perfectly with Annihilator’s King of the Kill. The vocals however, provide a much different tone with both male and female portions mostly sung in a low, drawn-out fashion reminiscent of Zero Hour’s Erik Rosvold. The instrumental and vocals, despite being very different stylistically, work well together. The guitar and drums never slow down to suit the long, cathedral style of the vocalists who wrap the music in their stretching range, creating a sound similar to Dragonland.

There is also a strong diversity present in the sound which is created through the use of tempo changes across the board that keep the listener on their toes, most notably in the guitars shifting between dark, heavy tones and fast, brain warping passages. The inconsistent structure of the songs works in Betoken’s favour, making the music fresh and unpredictable. Although the musicianship of the band is solid, there are a few creative choices that are questionable, such as several intros rife with violins and church bells and a few spoken passages that seem to be added in simply for theatrics’ sake.

While there is some fat that could be trimmed from the album, Beyond Redemption overall provides a solid and interesting listening experience that demonstrates a good level of craftiness and ingenuity. If you’re in the market for music with an over the top style and some serious instrumental talent, Beyond Redemption could be right up your alley.

Betoken – Beyond Redemption
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Presiding over the frozen tundra of Ontario atop his mighty polar bear of war, Steve seeks out the metal that he claims, “has a sweet groove, dude.” His musical tastes were raised by his father upon the likes of Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Dio, but it wasn’t long before he began tuning his ears to darker and stranger avenues. Finding solace within the domains of prog, stoner, and power metal, he continues to make expeditions into genres unexplored, delving into their history while keeping an eye peeled on the horizon for rising stars.
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