I try not to obsess over traffic statistics for this site even though I am a numbers junkie, caused by years of playing Strat-O-Matic Baseball with my father and perusing obscure career stats from New York Mets bench players. That being said, I can’t help but notice that my readership in Canada is lower than my readership in Germany, despite the fact that I’ve covered bands across the great North while I’ve yet to review a German release. Enter Montreal’s Beyond Creation, who I’m relying on to make my Canadian readership EXPLODE and make me as popular as maple syrup, or whatever stereotypical treat my ignorant American ass relates to Canada.
Beyond Creation’s new album from Season of Mist, The Aura, is a fresh pulse of time-warping progressive death metal that should probably be traded person to person through a media format that hasn’t been invented yet, like transferrable brain chips or spinal download disks, which slide between vertebrae and fuse music directly with your neural system. Beyond Creation’s brand of next century’s technical death displays virtuosity without distracting from the songs, allowing ample room for exploration while the structures keep each track contained in its own definite universe. The music on The Aura is elastic and borderline aquatic in nature, swimming naturally from extra-terrestrial djent to finger-blurring death metal riffing to what I like to call “progressive space jams.” No, they do not feature the most dynamic basketball players of the 90s and WB cartoons, but they do have passages of radar-pinging guitars and a bass tone that sounds like the bellow of some intergalactic worm-whale while resourceful drumming slyly twists beneath. But these are only brief escapes from Beyond Creation’s sinister pummel and mathematic trickery, brought to life through vastly impressive performances from the entire band. From Dominic 'Forest' Lapointe’s nimble bass work (which calls forth memories of Roger Patterson’s best work in Atheist) to Simon Girard’s on-point vocal attack to the Kevin Chartré/Girard tag-team guitar assault, this is top notch progressive death metal executed with spit, sweat, and whatever fluid will replace blood a thousand years in the future.
The only song that felt uninspired was “Omnipresent,” which shifts from mid-tempo chugging to a bastardized “Snakes For the Divine” riff. This is the only song that doesn’t hold up under multiple listens, as The Aura rips through uncharted territory by achieving oxymoronic herky-jerky groove. Considering how many tempo shifts alter the path of each song the catchy nature of the music is, as Wallace Shawn would say, inconceivable. The instrumental track “Chromatic Horizon” rampages beautifully in my headphones while the title track manipulates my brain into head nodding motions, growing more violent as the song progresses. The album's centerpiece, “The Deported,” winds through outer space like one of those intergalactic worm-whales I mentioned earlier, surprisingly elusive for such a powerful beast. It’s rare to find death metal so cunning, so difficult to trap into a corner and identify before it bites your throat out.
Decibel Magazine revealed that Beyond Creation will be playing several dates of the magazine’s tour, opening for the three-headed killing machine that will be Cannibal Corpse, Napalm Death, and Immolation. If you’re able to catch them on the May 21st - June 2nd leg of the tour DO IT. I need you to report to me if they’re actually playing instruments light-beamed here from a distant planet populated with tentacled metalheads, because considering some of the rhythms and sounds on this album, that’s about all that makes sense.
Seek more Beyond Creation data here: http://www.season-of-mist.com/bands/beyond-creation
The Aura releases in the United States on May 14th. Order this madness here: http://e-shop.season-of-mist.com/en/items/beyond-creation/the-aura/cd/34199