A Sickness Unto Death - Beyond

9 songs
63:11 minutes
***** ***


Every three years, we get a new album from German doom metal band A Sickness Unto Death. After Despair and The Great Escape, they are back with their self-released third longplayer Beyond. Unlike its two predecessors, there are no more birds featured on the cover, instead we get a sombre staircase photo.

From a musical point of view, the musicians stayed true to themselves and show that lyrically speaking they are not happy people. Grief, despair and anguish are part of their daily menu. And yet A Sickness Unto Death manage to wrap this up in a tasteful package. Most tracks are about six minutes long, two even nearly make it to ten minutes. The band always takes its time to get to the point, which takes maybe even a little too long on Of Nothingness And You. The other songs are more compelling though, and always end up with a suspenseful structure. The vocals work really well, even though sometimes they are a bit heavy on the pathos, but generally speaking they convey the aforementioned emotions really well. At times they remind me of Toolís Maynard James Keegan, without reaching the latterís intensity though. The songs are quite moody, with a calm atmosphere reminding of Bathory circa Twilight Of The Gods. Even when the vocalist is screaming, the pace stays sedate, which has a soothing impact on the listener.

If you like bands like My Dying Bride, you might also be attracted to A Sickness Unto Death. Although there has been no major breakthrough, Beyond can still be seen as a small improvement over its predecessor. Despite its generous length, the album is not overstaying its welcome, and when itís over, you wonder how fast an hour can go by. I will definitely listen some more to Beyond and am expecting its successor most probably in 2021.

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