Beyond Agony

'The Last of a Dying Breed'

(self released)

MARK: 72/100


Dedicating their debut MCD to Dimebag Darrell is not only a form of reverential tribute to an influential artist but also a strong clue about the US band's stylistic direction. Only 20 minutes of self recorded music yeah, but totally professional, booklet and recording included, completed with ripe, sharp lyrics about the sense of discomfort, isolation and desperation of the few aware of living in a hypocritical, decaying, unfair and blind Western society where everyone is invited to the banquet but very few have a seat assured.
As to the sounds, the songs benefit a large amount of bass sounds to the detriment of the cymbals, and sometimes the drums themselves occasionally sound a bit too artificial and consequently unfit to a metal band, even one like this with a foot in the early 90's Thrash and the other in 2006. That said, the tracks possess a tremendous impact thanks to the Pantera-like vocals and the structures, sometimes capable of producing a personal way of arranging, which is already a plus, considering that this is the official first release of a young band.

The opener "Impaired" stands out owing to a K.O. break in the middle, although not too original, and drumwork superior to the average. Excellent entwining of riffs and drum parts in "Tragedy in the Making"; quite interesting the unexpected central spoken break followed by maracas guest percussionist Neil Kissack along with permanent skinbeater Shane Ailey. I know that talking about a Spanish intrusion can sound like a blasphemy but the 5 spitfires have found a way to place it far from becoming ridiculous.Then the song evolves in a Fear Factorian fashion and, in the end, Panterian.
The best vocals - very Hardcore indeed - are placed in the beginning of "Divulge", rife with more various riffs ranging from Modern metal to Hard rock; don't worry, it's not a party song, but one of those destined to break hell loose in a live situation and home too if accompanied by a couple of beers and whiskey.
The palm of 'most wicked composition' sure goes to "Fall to Ruins", apocalyptical brutal metalcore with Death metal riffs on the trail of the Inbreds but more wicked and choking; those who know me know why it is my favorite out of the 5.
If Pantera still existed and jammed with As I Lay Dying and Terror, a song like "Too Many Times" would come out, showing another face of Beyond Agony.

Thru these five songs the yankees were able to explore all of their musical boundaries, turning out as an act that doesn't like to repeat itself and is exploiting the positive creative period of the two more gifted members of the band, lead guitarist Andy Nixon and drummer Shane Ailey.
I just think fans of the above-mentioned bands couldn't ask an unsigned band for more and will be satisfied after having spent 8 bucks for this MCD.


Line-up on this record:
Matt Tetrick, v.
Shane Ailey, d. & p.
Matt Wambsganss, b.
Tom Reenken, rhythm g.
Andy Nixon, lead g.

Beyond Agony, LLC, 4726West Stonehaven Lane,
New Palestine, IN 46163 - USA
Official sites:

The last of a dying breed (MCD - 2005)