Beyond All Reason pull off quite a coup with 'Words of Betrayal'
Having featured endorsement from Radio 1's own Zane Lowe and a wide range of quite glowing reports from many prominent music publications in their short existence to date, York's Beyond All Reason and their debut full length output 'Words Of Betrayal' certainly have the hype and good praise to justify their shot at making it big. The real question being however, does their album live up to this change they have?
It's really hard to put your finger confidently down on quite what it is that Beyond All Reason do with their sound, and what it is that makes them quite so appealing in their own way. One moment they are all infectious metal riffing of the Metallica school of thought, with high pitched vocals that would remind anyone of the NWOBHM or of the current power metal trends, the next they are FFAF or Hundred Reasons style post-hardcore inspired rhythms and rock grooves. Whilst some the elements of their music are not to my usual tastes, the blending of these parts makes for a sumptuous and delicious whole! Whilst the entire album is enjoyable the most definite highlights have to be 'Lovers at Sundown' and the riff-tastic (If you will permit me to use such a colloquialism) "A Thorn In My Heart".
Whilst the guitars range from the usual-yet-enjoyable mix of riffs and shreds to metal-inspired soloing, it is really the vocals that shine on this album, provided most satisfyingly by singer-guitarist Venno. Although the post-hardcore style of singing and the style of quite high-pitched crooning that it inevitably entails is not my usual preferred choice of vocals, when it is done as charismatically as shown on 'Words Of Betrayal' it is hard to really say anything negative about at all! The only complaint I can really level is at times it does seem that it comes close to almost intentionally mimicking an American accent, whilst I am obviously not trying to knock the accent itself, I do like to hear a British band sound quite noticeably British simply to set themselves apart, particularly in this style.
Overall then the album's only real failing is that in the eclectic style of the band you often lose a sense of focus, a sense that the band know what they are doing. Whilst mixing your metal riffs and your post-hardcore styles is both inventive and interesting, I often whilst listening to this album wished for more of a sense of purpose and confidence in these styles and for a more powerful mix. However this is undoubtedly an impressive debut release and with their blend of music, I would not be at all surprised if Beyond All Reason flourish like they deserve to.