Melodic death metal is a very tricky style to get spot on, with a balance that needs to be struck between heaviness and an ear for a tune; a balance that all too often is lop-sided. It’s an understanding that Nottingham based death metallers Beyond Grace have, in a short life-span, have already recognised and mastered and thus, as evidenced on latest album Seekers (Self-released), have proven themselves as one of British metal’s best kept secrets and exciting prospects.
The self-monikered “Omni-dimensional death” metallers may only have a couple of albums under their belts, but Seekers shows heaps of sophistication in their sound as it uses many facets of contemporary death metal but without feeling disjointed or bloated. Album opener “Seekers” begins with an eerie, stripped back intro before some technical fretwork kicks in; but far from an impenetrable display of fret acrobatics it overall gives enough balance to give brutality and complexity yet showcase actual songcraft; a trend that continues throughout.
Production values feel spot on proving crisp enough to suit the contemporary and technical nature but without proving sanitised and cold, and song durations never outstay their welcome; with enough ideas and shifts throughout but without losing sight of the idea of song writing and never proving too daunting or inaudible. That Beyond Grace are a fairly new band in the UK scene and yet have managed feats in their sound that many peers overlook or simply do not get is a staggering feat. There are nods and signs of influence that are picked up on easily, whether they be Decapitated, parts of Obscura or the fretwork of The Black Dahlia Murder, but it never feels like aping, nor does it feel unnatural. Seekers may well fly under people’s radar, but is a truly brilliant experience, and surely a death metal highlight of the year.