Archives of the Dead part X: Beyond Dawn - Heaven's Dark Reflection (demo 1991)
Line up: Einar Sjursø (drums, vocals (backing)), Petter Haavik (guitars, vocals (backing)), Tore Gjedrem (vocals, bass), Sindre Goksøyr (guitars, vocals (backing))
Recorded at Studio S, Strommen, during November 22nd -24th and December 6th. Engineered & mixed by Skule Robertsen and Beyond Dawn.
I have never really been interested in Beyond Dawn, just like I never have been into any of these weird fusions of avant-garde, jazz, doom, psychedelic, gothic and rock whatever type of crap. Sorry, this music is nothing for my taste. But like many other bands, Beyond Dawn also started as more metal oriented band and I guess their first recordings, mainly the demos, will be a nice offer for the metal heads; especially those, who enjoy their metal to be more unique, but still quite rough and dark sounding. Norway’s Beyond Dawn with their second demo “Heaven's Dark Reflection” is an excellent offer then.
The band was started in 1990 in Oslo and the same year they’ve released “Tales from an Extinguished World”. “Heaven's Dark Reflection” came out year later and I don’t know what the debut demo was like, but sincerely I must admit that the second tape presents a band, which already had quite unique and original style and certainly their way of playing death metal differed a lot from the typical sound of this music. If anyone thought that some Swedish bands like Afflicted and Crypt of Kerberos played weird and untypical death metal then he should listen to “Heaven's Dark Reflection”. Wow, bizarre riffs and song structures, a lot of quite technical parts, great variety of vocal styles (from growls, screams to weird singing)… Certainly even nowadays this music is very challenging, but I quite like it, for its rough sound and unique style. There were few death doom metal, which presented very weird music, let’s just mention Thergothon, Crypt of Kerberos, Pan Thy Monium and Phlebotomized. Definitely Beyond Dawn in their early career fitted them (even if soon they flew away towards more electronic type of music…). Just listen to “The Sound of Wings” – damn, there’s even a fast, almost black metal part in this song, especially with that shrieking type of vocals… Certainly this is my favourite song from this demo, mainly for its more uncompromising and vicious sound. But such “The Mourner” also has some pretty intense and heavy riffs, although it is way more varied than “The Sound of Wings” and has also a portion of more bizarre playing, including violin in one fragment…
Anyway, these two are my favourite songs of the demo and to be honest I do enjoy “Heaven's Dark Reflection” in its entirety (maybe except some vocal parts in “Baphomet’s Refuge”). It is a shame then that Beyond Dawn didn’t settle with this style and sound for longer, but so soon changed into something less death and metal oriented… but this demo from 1991 is certainly worth of your interest. And I’ll finish this review with a very wise piece of the lyrics from the song called “God”: “…Walk your own path, find your own way, be your own god…”.
Final rate: 75/100