ne of the pioneers of Power metal, Gamma Ray, led for over 2 decades by guitar mastermind Kai Hansen (also known from fellow countrymen and co-pioneers Helloween), releasing genre-defining classics such as “Heading For Tomorrow” (1990) and “Land Of The Free” (1995), are being reviewed this time.
U.S.A. have many brutal death metal bands that do release great albums. Yet the best brutal record I listened to the last year comes from Europe. And not just from Europe, but from a small country island called Malta. Although they started to release albums since 1998, it wasn’t many years before I listened to Beheaded and I couldn’t believe it that they are from Malta. Now in 2012 they give us another diamond album, another golden piece of their work.
“Never To Dawn” was released in early December and unfortunately I didn’t heard of it soon enough to give it the appropriate rank on my top 20 list of the best metal albums for 2012. Yes it is that good. Many would argue on what I just state. Some could say that it is just another brutal death metal album with nothing special about it. A part of all these might be true. But these guys, coming from Malta and with a lot of rearrangements on their line-up, they still manage to give us good death metal CDs. And if you are trying to find a brutal death metal CD that will have more than 5 songs above the average, you are searching for utopia.
On the music department, to start reviewing “Never To Dawn”, here you can find everything that can make a brutal death metal fan happy. In addition Beheaded made a great work on the production and the CD although it is loud and clear, it is not too much polished to the point of fake.
The guitar work is perfect on this album. The rhythm and the grooves of the guitars, the job responsible of Omar Grech and Robert Agius, are controlled magnificent by these two. In some parts, especially on the first “Elapsed In The Vortex Of Extinction” and on the same titled song, looks like Morbid Angel have something to do with this CD. And in others more brutal parts the duo seems capable of great Suffocation-ish riffs.
The drums are very natural and acoustic and that is an advantage of this album. The blastbeats are greatly executed and the hits can be distinguished easily. The vocals are another highlight of “Never To Dawn”. Frank Calleja nailed this area. His voice is the most distinct, that Beheaded had until today. And if you try to find someone to compare his vocals with, it is possible you would find none.
Unfortunately I cannot say anything for the bass because simply you can hear of it nowhere. So what to say for something that it is buried? Just a few rays of bass “light canbe heard on very few moments.
Fans of Cannibal Corpse, Hate Eternal and even Vader would love this CD. And the highlights are by far the first track, the same titled song and “The Ancient Acuman”, where the melodies will haunt your mind for a long long time.
|Track List||Line Up||01. Elapsed In The Vortex Of Extinction
02. Laments Of A Sordid God
03. When Hours Etch Their Name
04. Perished Into Inexistence
05. Never To Dawn
06. Dead Silence
07. Towards An Abducted Sun
08. Descent Into Sanguinary Seas
09. The Ancient Acuman
|Frank Calleja – Vocals
David “Cejca” Cachia – Bass
Chris Brincat – Drums
Omar Grech – Guitars
Robert Agius – Guitars