Beneath - Ephemeris album review

Icelandic death metal brutes start a subtle revolution

Cover art for Beneath - Ephemeris album

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An underrated force in the modern death metal scene, Iceland’s Beneath have been threatening to deliver a classic for a while now. Ephemeris may be marginally too straightforward to shatter any epochs, but the subtle details and skewed trimmings that started to leak through structural cracks in 2014’s The Barren Throne are now flowing thick and fast. There are a few hints that Beneath have aspirations beyond the ancient/ modern death hybrid they continue to peddle brilliantly here. A tangible whiff of techmetal ambience in Eyecatcher’s spiralling outro, a dash of postpunk menace underscoring Alignments’ bleak squall and several moments of strident melody all help to sustain a sense of progressive fervour amid the reassuring thud of shrewdly refreshed Bolt Thrower-isms and countless bursts of spine-jarring, post-Behemoth blastbeats. This is top-of-the-range brutality.

Dom Lawson has been writing for Hammer and Prog for 14 intermittently enjoyable years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He listens to more music than you. And then writes about it.