Following their groundbreaking debut, No Sleep Demon, Seabound return to the spotlight with a new album that is fresh, innovative and rich with creativity. Beyond Flatline is lush with intricate synthesizer textures interweaved with passionate vocals. Greater maturity and sound design technique abound here, with new sounds and ideas at every turn. There is much more to Beyond Flatline than meets the ears, as an interview with this German duo reveals: “We started writing songs for Beyond Flatline after finishing our European tour with Covenant towards the end of 2002. In the beginning, progress was slow. Take ‘Transformer’ for example, which was one of the first tracks we worked on. It took 14 different versions before we were finally satisfied with the result. In that stage, every track stood for itself. You could compare the process to polishing diamonds when you don’t know what piece of jewelry you are going to create in the end.”
It is this relentless attention to detail that separates Beyond Flatline from the competition. “Transformer” opens the album with other-worldly programming and dark atmospheres. Soon pulsing beats and thick bass lines sneak in, paving the way towards the aural feast around the corner. “Contact” comes next, with its driving rhythm demanding the listener’s attention. I can see this track receiving a great deal of club play. The pounding “Digital” is best described by the band as “a harsh rhythmical piece with virtually no melody or harmonies, which is narrated from the perspective of a psychopath. It’s about cold, callous, devilish lust, and a digital camera. We didn’t aim at the clubs when we created it, but it’s certainly a track I would dance to. It’s one of those pieces that leave a lot of room for the listener and the dancer alike.” Although a relatively short track, “Digital” is a sinister blend that pushes the creative envelope.
The album’s upcoming single, “Poisonous Friend,” follows with brilliant production and attitude to spare. Smooth vocals coast alongside an intoxicating electronic soundscape. “Separation” takes a slower approach, with its eerie sound design and potent delivery. “Torch” presents yet another interesting side to Seabound, with a mid-tempo percussion backdrop. It’s a haunting track with a gorgeous melody that will move you. And where did the title Beyond Flatline come from? The band explains, “When we finished about half of the songs, we seriously started discussing appropriate titles for the album. I realized that a common theme throughout the tracks was approaching turning points and reaching end points. I came up with “Beyond Flatline” to reflect the trespassing of a seeming end point. Beyond Flatline describes going beyond the seeming end, breaking rules, daring to cross borders.”
The band has certainly achieved their objective, as “Go International,” a powerful piece that sets the dance floor ablaze, attests. Their softer side is seen on “Watching Over You.” The chorus (“To the beacon in the night / I trust in you / I’m watching over you”) engulfs you, tantalizing your senses. I can’t seem to get enough of this track. This is the ideal companion on long drives in the dead of night. Towards the end, “Icarus” comes on strong with a perfect blend of beauty and brutality. While mostly an instrumental piece, it works well to bring the album to a close. But it also leaves you begging for more.
With Beyond Flatline, Seabound has presented a monumental body of work. “We have tried to capture the strengths of Seabound: multi-layered electronic music aloof from the traditional clichés, paired with undistorted vocals and lyrics that deal a lot with the human psyche, individual fantasies and fears and the abyss inside of us.” Discover new things within yourself, and go Beyond Flatline!
Metropolis Records: http://www.metropolis-records.com/