Released By : Incommunicado Records
Genre : Progressive Rock/Progressive Metal
Link : http://www.beyond-the-labyrinth.com/
01. The Girl With The X-Ray Eyes
02. Where Kindred Spirits Meet
03. Hidden Agenda
04. Oceans Apart
05. Fear’s The Killer
06. The Darkest Page
07. Saturation Point
08. Stories Waiting To Be Told
09. Raise The Horns
11. The Peter Principle
BEYOND THE LABYRINTH are a relatively new discovery for me and even though these Belgians have been together since some time in the nineties this is only their third full length release, following albums in 2008 and 2005 respectively. I haven’t heard the previous two discs, but I can say that I was quite impressed with CHAPTER III – STORIES.
BEYOND THE LABYRINTH are sort of half-way between progressive rock and progressive metal with each extreme getting a fair run on this album, but the main consistent trait is that everything here is very melodic and has a real eighties melodic rock/AOR feel going on. I hear influence definitely here from DREAM THEATER but also note a bit of a RUSH/ASIA vibe too which does a good job of mixing the old with the new.
The musicianship across the disc is quite impressive too, but once again melody and cohesion rule the day so there’s not really any of what we call ‘wanky’ show-off parts to be found, just a good band that knows what they’re doing. The chameleon type vocals of front man Jo De Boeck don’t hurt either and he seamlessly blends from softer rock vocals to tougher metal vocals with an ease that would be the envy of many of his contemporaries I’m sure.
With the album, CHAPTER III-STORIES, the band have attempted to treat each track as an individual tale. Each with its own story and meaning and it actually works quite well. Yes, there are a few tracks here that stand out amongst the rest, but there’s nothing on here that I would call filler and certainly nothing here that I would feel the need to use the skip button for. There is however two tracks that I feel deserve a special mention above all others and are a great example of the diversity of the band. The first track I want to make mention of is opening gem THE GIRL WITH THE X-RAY EYES which is easily as good as anything that has come out of the ASIA camp over the last decade or so. The other is HIDDEN AGENDA which is much heavier and one of the most energetic and meaty tracks on the whole album. It’s more melodic metal than progressive metal but it’s a great song and features the best vocal track on the disc.
CHAPTER III-STORIES is a fantastic album that deserves some decent exposure, and even though this was my first outing with BEYOND THE LABYRINTH they have definitely found their way onto my “keep an eye on” list and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
Written By ZeeZee
Rating : 9/10