Up Close and On Fire – Beyond Fallen – CD Review

BEYOND FALLEN Veteran Wilkes-Barre, PA metal band Beyond Fallen have had quite the interesting time since the late summer 2013 release of their Machines of Corruption 5-song EP, which marked the band’s 10thAnniversary. Two months after the CD’s release, the band had a major personnel change when guitarist and local metal veteran Butch Frable elected to leave the band for health reasons,replaced by youngster Greg Baczmarga. Greg played with the group for over two years and performed on the band’s forthcoming fifth CD, As The Spires Fall, before he had to depart for his own personal reasons. Initially intended to be a self-released project in late 2016 (with some online fanzines posting early and favorable reviews), the release date has been pushed ahead to sometime in 2017 following the band’s signing a deal with German-based independent label Underground Power, and theaddition of ex-Fear Of God guitarist Randy Bobizen to the lineup.

You can listen to the podcast Listen to “Up Close and On Fire with S and K Ep 4 Beyond Fallen” on Spreaker.

Between the release of Machines Of Corruption in 2013 and the announcement of As The Spires Fall’s impending release, the band released a digital single for the song “Hatecrown”, which served to prove that the band had not lost a step with their then-recent personnel change (the song, in a new mix, is set to the closing track of Spires). Recent shows with Bobizen settled nicely in the lead guitar position, such as their supporting slot this past November with fellow Eastern PA metalists Threatpoint, have further solidified the band’s position

For those who have not experienced Beyond Fallen’s music and might shirk at the term “metal”and what it often tends to stand for nowadays [Author’s disclaimer: This is not meant as a diss to any other type of metal band], rest assured: This is not a band that deals in blurry, murky thrashing and shrieked or burped vocals, buried in a layer or five of cassette portastudio tape hiss. Instead, the band merges the dual influences of hard rock legends like Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, and the now classic thrash and death metal bands of the 80’s (Metallica, Slayer, Motorhead, you name it…) to create their own take on traditional power metal. Vocalist (and vociferous vinyl collector) Joe Karavis has a distinctive yet hard to describe baritone/low tenor voice, able to deliver both melody and grit simultaneously. Guitarist Steve Jasuilewicz knows his way around killer riffs befitting the band’s chosen genre, and the rhythm section of bassist Chuck Donahue and drummer John Jesuele is pretty much a live clinic of what a tight metal bass-and-drums pairing should be.

 With a new album in the can, a new record deal, a growing underground audience both here and in Europe, and the band’s 15thAnniversary approaching in 2018, Beyond Fallen seems set to prove that you don’t have to be on a large metal label to have staying power –just a sincere devotion to be the best metal band they can be.

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