Canadian death metal has always been about Cryptopsy for me, with their landmark albums None So Vile and Blasphemy Made Flesh being some of the definitive albums for technical death metal. Yet Beyond Creation, with their debut full length album The Aura deviates from the brutal stylistics of the aforementioned, and this year sees the album being reissued under Season of Mist 2 years after its initial release year.
Instead, Beyond Creation has picked a sound that leans more towards the progressive and technical style of German prog/tech death stalwarts Obscura and Necrophagist. The album may have started off rather aggressively with No Request for the Corrupted, easily reminding one of the brutal style of technical death metal such as Suffocation with the riffing patterns of guitarists Simon and Kevin, but pretty quickly the band displays their true style of music. The focus on the lead guitars and the complex riffs that Simon and Kevin unleash quickly remind one of the style of Obscura, and there are even times on the album where the band goes into somewhat neoclassical moments, making such comparisons all the more obvious.
As is expected by a band of such stylistics, each of the instruments on the album are equally technical, and each of the members of the band are certainly masters of their crafts. The bass of Dominic has a constantly high presence throughout the album, and the quirky lines that are unleashed by him aren’t unlike the works on Obscura‘s releases. Omnipresent Perception even includes an extended bass solo, allowing Dominic to really display his talent in its full glory. Drummer Guyot’s performance on the album is also stunning, and the shifts between different styles of drumming and time signatures are evident of his skills and versatility. Furthermore, he provides much of the energy on the album, keeping things interesting throughout.
As if the band’s technical capabilities aren’t obvious enough, there are shorter interludes on the album as well such as Chromatic Horizon and Elevation Path on that are pure instrumental tracks that allow the band to show off not only the abilities on their instruments, but also in their composition skills as well, fitting in seamlessly with the rest of the album. On Omnipresent Perception, the band even has current Cryptopsy guitarist Christian Donaldson make a guest appearance, providing some brutality to the music, once again throwing in some surprises to the listener.
The visual aesthetics of the band almost led to me mistake them for a deathcore band, especially with their deathcore-ish band logo. Though there are certain moments where the band threatens to go into such territory such as the breakdowns on Coexistence, The Aura has certainly been a nice surprise, and the complexity that is contained on the disc is sure to please anyone with a penchant for technically challenging, yet melodic music.
The Season of Mist reissue of the album also includes a demo version of Injustice Revealed, and is definitely a nice bonus track for fans of the band and this release.