Beyond The Black hit hard and fast with their first worldwide album. Lost In Forever is focused and clear in it’s goal as symphonic metal. Driving with a destructive force supplied by a tight rhythm section; two contrasting and talented singers which are then backed up by complex guitar lines and emotional string lines. The combined effect brings a wall of sound and distinct soundscape out of a genre which is so notably difficult to be identifiable in.
Opening with a title track, the song provides a tantalising glimpse at what the album has to offer; the first 30 seconds show every instrument (except for the male lead vocals) in an impressively fast set of developments which immediately grasp the listeners attention. When the two lead vocals do share the spotlight - the effect is incredible, the contrast of Jennifer and Chris’ voices provide constant interest in what’s coming next, which is only reinforced by the range of possibilities that each of their voices contain individually as well as together. Jennifer’s voice at times almost ethereal, whilst other times cutting and powerful; Chris then switches between a deep growl and a crowd leading belted shout in a way that could almost be two entirely different singers. Despite these differences the two effortlessly share the lead vocal roles, as opposed to fighting to achieve spot-light status.
Powerful highlights of the album come in equal spacing: the second track ‘Beautiful Lies’ is a timeless metal anthem which is both reminiscent of classics like Metallica, but could have also been present for the metal rebirth in the early 2000s. Halfway through the album comes ‘Nevermore’, which can be best described as “Quest Metal” - an always challenging style to do justice to among giants of the genre, but which is entirely achieved in this case by the use of a well - timed key change and the relentless drums and bass throughout. Finally, ‘Dim The Spotlight’ brings an interesting amount of pop sensibilities into the album whilst maintaining what it is that makes Beyond The Black who they are, featuring both a catchy chorus and the well written combination of orchestral stabs and chugging guitar.
Beyond The Black have a classic recognisable sound which will come across as particularly nostalgic to those who were present for the earlier mentioned 2000s metal resurgence, for these fans it may feel like bands such as Evanescence were something of a practice run for the power of symphonic metal. This strength is also the weakness of the album, the band has a clear image and style but not a lot in the way of innovation, they do what they do well but have very noticeable influences that could have been further branched out from.
All in all, Beyond The Black have undeniably nailed symphonic metal, and can easily keep interest with clever, and even at times beautiful, writing - but could easily be using this to blaze a trail and create something new from the foundation that symphonic metal has been forming for a now significant amount of time. Score: 8/10