Band: Beyond the Bridge
Album: The Old Man and the Spirit
Genre: Progressive Metal
It’s one thing to get a quality product from a source you’d expect, but another entirely for one to seemingly pop out of nowhere. Beyond the Bridge managed to put forth a very good debut album, while showing great potential to put out even better albums in years to come. The band came out of the gate with not only a concept album, but one that pits a male and female lead vocalist against each other in an oddly unique way. Since “beauty and the beast” bands like Epica have become commonplace, it’s refreshing to see an album simply featuring two strong melodic voices taking turn at leads between and within songs, with the male lead playing the part of The Old Man, and the female playing The Spirit.
The album features several excellent tracks, and between them they showcase a bit of the variety on the album. “World of Wonders” jumped out at me immediately as what might end up being the best ballad of 2012, and featured only soft and luscious vocals from Dilenya Mar. On the other hand the album opens with “The Call” featuring Herbie Langhans and is a little on the heavier side of the album. And then there is of course tracks like “The Old Man and the Spirit” which features both vocalists, and shows them taking turns at the microphone beautifully. That said it’s a tad ironic that my favorite track on the album happens to be the instrumental, “Triumph of Irreality”. While much of the rest of the album seems to serve as a background for the lyrical concept and dual vocalists, this track really shows what the musicians of the band can do. Not only is there a bit of technical flash thrown into the track, but fantastic melodies from both guitars and keyboards throughout the track.
While the band certainly pushed the envelope lyrically and vocally I do think they could have pushed a little harder musically, and I think a slightly conservative effort on that front does seem to make the album lag a bit in the latter half. However the album is for the most part fantastic, especially for a debut, and the sounds a good bit better than one would expect from a band recording their first album. Buy this, and at very least you’re getting an album with an interesting concept and a lot of great vocal melodies from both sides of the gender war.
Nick's Rating: 9.5/10