Metal To Infinity

Beyond The Labyrinth is a band from Belgium formed back in 1996. Back then they took off with good intentions and ideas of how to expose their own ways of Rock and Metal music. Beyond The Labyrinth’s debut effort “Signs” saw daylight somewhere in the misty days of October 2005. Loaded with twelve songs which ranged from American Oriented Rock to Classic and Hard Rock filled with progressive / symphonic spiced elements, BTL proved they were really good – it was a first full length album aimed not to the older generation of Rock and Metal (like me actually). Original members got company from a few well know guest members from Threshold, Shadowkeep, Mind’s Eye, Sun Caged among others. Good and well deserved ratings from the world wide press; beyond The Labyrinth has not missed its start apparently!     

Along with some of the original bandmembers, brainchild, producer and songwriter of Beyond The Labyrinth Geert Fieuw (guitars, keyboards, midi-programming) brought out a concept album entitled “Castles In The Sand” back in 2008. I never heard this release up until now but cruising the Internet, reviews of the output told me it was a good one too, basically I want to look out for later on. 

The past has already shown that not every band, which delivered a good album,  is also a good act while they walk the stage doing a live performance. Yeah, I know several groups struggling with a problem like that, I mean good album but not worth to see while playing for a live audience. I won’t give names because of my respect for the bands themselves but the point is that Beyond The Labyrinth doesn’t belong to that category, no way! In the past, these Belgians played as support for bands like Uriah Heep, Pain Of Salvation, Epica,  Threshold among others.  

It was time for a new album they might thought and so they did. With a line up reduced to 4 members, Beyond The Labyrinth just let go their newest release entitled “Chapter III – Stories”. This one-hour output has a professional look on the outside – the inside, I mean the twelve songs are very well done also. In the past, BTL was always in for the kill with an excellent blend of Rock and Metal music and based on that point, all stayed untouched but there is more this time. The new album showcases very good songs which even take a step further. Listening the entire album I was quite surprised about the fact also elements of Pop and Gothic music appear on the scene. But don’t be scared, all the songs has been so dam good worked out, you won’t be disappointed for sure. There is power and melody to detect across the entire album – alternating with slow and easy, atmospheric, the new BTL album shows a really mature group. 

Singer Jo De Boeck still offers his own vocal abilities – he’s a good front man, owner of a voice with a special colour to me… every now and then, I hear similarities with almighty Dave Mustaine. Agree or not, I don’t care – it’s just the way I feel! I also enjoyed the excellent duties brought on by Geert Fieuw – his manner of the keyboard tasks seem good arranged (make notice of the fact that I'm not a big fan of keyboard moves) – on the other hand, Geert’s guitar playing is sublime all the way out. Tight and straight to the bone riffings,  when it’s time to take control of the solo works I'm pleased. Armed with a lethal dose of technical skills, this guy brings on the very best in melodic Rock and Metal. Chemistry between bass and drumlines seem optimal – another pleased fact as I may speak for myself. 

It’s a real pleasure listening to the entire “Chapter III – Stories” due to its versatile character. Witness songs with a melodic Hard Rock identity alternating with the mighty strength of Classic Rock / AOR and some ways of Progressive Metal music as well. Nothing to do with the nowadays Rock and Metal movement in general – Beyond The Labyrinth’s new album has been created to spoil the old school mainly. I guess that the album definitely should be check out by supporters of Savatage (not the early days), Dream Theater, Genesis, Asia, Arena, Spock’s Beard, Evergrey, Yes and so on.  

Each song, a different story such as it goes in life you know – sweet and tender moments can switch into a dark and cold situation in a wink of an eye. That’s life – that’s the story of Beyond The Labyrinth’s new effort called “Chapter III – Stories” which is a really good one to me! Band check at:  /   

My Points: 85 / 100 (Review by Stefan)