Beyond Belief - Rave The Abyss LP (Clear/Red Splatter vinyl)
Heavy 180 gram vinyl.
Beyond Belief's opening album Towards the Diabolical Experiment was a slow and plodding affair that ultimately was too bleak for it's own good. The band comes out firing on Rave the Abyss. There might some basement-dwellers that think streamlining your sound is a sellout but here they take everything they had going for them and made it accessible to the death metal audience as a whole.
One of the flaws of their first album was the production. It created a sound that made it seem like the band was conveying zero conviction. Here it is crisp, loud, and heavy. Though the riffing is more vibrant here and the leads more prevalent, it isn't particularly original stuff. But it is also competent and enjoyable at the same time. They continue to channel a distinctly Dutch sound for the album with a stray bit of influence from a band like say Morgoth.
After the blasting opener, they hark back to their original album with the gloomy and evil Cursed. The guitars just are much more prominent and beefed up here with a tasteful solo thrown in for good measure. They don't stray too far from their roots; mostly just speeding it up when needed, and allowing the keys to breathe a bit more. These help to alleviate some of the shortcomings of their debut. The lead guitars here also are much more tasteful; both in their mournful lead parts, and in the soloing.