Beyond the Apocalypse
Yikes! The cover of Beyond the Apocalypse is pretty freakin’ scary! It’s a simple black cover with just a smidge of a band member’s face donning an insidious grimace. Pretty sweet!
I actually like this sophomore album from 1349 quite a bit, and I am not a fan of black metal. I usually find black metal much too pretentious and corny for my taste. Thankfully, the corniness of 1349 stops with their corpse paint and silly outfits. The music is pure, unadulterated evil from start to finish. The vocalist is the star of the show, coming off as a tremendously huge presence with his seething scream/growl through which vocals can actually be heard. He is my new favorite black metal vocalist (I actually never had one, having hated the majority of BM I’ve ever heard). The guitars are just barely second fiddle to the vocals. They have an awesome, 1980s thrash metal tone to them, playing lightning fast riffs the majority of the time. The drummer (who also plays with Frost) is completely ridiculous. He’s so fast and mechanical that he sounds like a drum machine.
I think what I like best about this album is that there isn’t a single wussy moment on the entire disc. It’s pure metal, regardless of the prefix “black.” These guys destroy the listener with aggression and power, making Beyond the Apocalypse one of the most refreshing discs of 2004. Fans of Mayhem, Immortal, Darkthrone and Gorgoroth take notice!