Beyond Grace – Our Kingdom Undone (Prosthetic)Wednesday, 1st September 2021
The UK’s Beyond Grace made a lasting impression a few years back with their first full-length, Seekers. A death metal album that captured both ferocity and intelligence, both musically and lyrically, and it never pandered to the current ‘look at my tech skills’ scene. The band has returned for round two, this time backed by Prosthetic Records, and Our Kingdom Undone successfully champions the same concepts in a way that improves upon their formula in both regards.
Our Kingdom Undone works so well because Beyond Grace simply fires off exactly the type of death metal that they want to play. You can give it some classifications in there, as they know how to do the ‘technical/progressive’ thing, but they keep it very aggressive and seething with anger, mixing together their components until it just feels like death metal, end of story. Thus earning it a certain freshness in a crowded spot where many acts decide to settle into a box to best market themselves. One listen to opening cut “Dark Forest Doctrine,” and the fury is palpable. But just as engaging is the sense of subtle melody and musicianship that lurks underneath. Insidious hooks that are both memorable and contain just the right amount of mind-boggling qualities to them. It’s hard not to bring up the gargantuan title track, weighing in at 12 minutes in length, and notice just how well the band blends everything together. Given the concise, 4-5 minute spread of the other tracks, it earns a mark for taking the extended runtime seriously and using it with purpose. An epic quality exudes from it as the tempos rise, melodies flutter about, and riffs hit with bone-crushing tenacity. All done without any extras or add-ons to ‘build up’ the sound – just fury and grace.
Taking to concepts of social and political unrest, Beyond Grace tackle the subject with an intriguing and intelligent combination of anger, frustration, and rage (and just a touch of sorrow). But for those simply seeking some aggressive metal, you’ll find your fill here too, as Our Kingdom Undone can fluidly balance primal brutality with a subtle ear for catchy and intricate melodies within their unique spin on the genre. What’s not to love?