Review: Beneath The Sky – In Loving Memory

Artist: Beneath The Sky
Album: In Loving Memory
Genre: Metalcore
Label: Victory

The realms of heavy music are quickly overwhelming the music scene and the metalcore genre is no exception. There are legions of bands following the perpetual and familiar formulas that we’re all used to, leaving them sounding washed up and repetitive. Beneath the Sky are a prime example of the metalcore movement as a whole but with virtually every band under the sun imitating this style of music, how would they compare? Well rest assured, they have returned with a vengeance.  Ever since they emerged onto the scene in 2004 they have been an unstoppable wrecking machine. However, coincidentally following their sophomore release entitled, The Day the Music Died they disheartened fans worldwide after announcing their disbandment. The fans weren’t ready to let them go without a fight and demanded a return. Due to endless support, two years later, Beneath the Sky are back and nearing the release of their third album, In Loving Memory, on Victory Records.

While their previous work stirred up attention, they ultimately fell into the lackluster pit of generic ruckus. In Loving Memory displays a more mature sound and marks a pinnacle height in their career. From the opening tracks, “The Opener,” and “Sorry I’m Lost,” it’s obvious that they have heightened their melodic tendencies and within their realms, have branched out to new innovative territory. While melodic additions may be at an up rise and have fallen into a conventional direction, their execution is nothing short of compelling. “Terror Starts At Home,” demonstrates the barbarous battle plan the rest of the album follows. The fleet-footed double bass work is enough to pound even the heaviest person’s chest. If you’re an admirer of the customary trademark of breakdowns then In Loving Memory won’t let you down. They incorporate a number of earth-shattering breakdown beats that will pummel you into oblivion but thankfully they use them adequately without relying solely on them.

The first half of the album is a recognized expression of their older sound while the second exhibits a more tender side that we’ve never been accustomed to. This half still includes the hardcore elements we’ve all grown to love but these tracks showcase their matured songwriting skills and improved musicianship. Their previous vocal delivery often came across as sharp and poorly produced while their clean singing was stagnant and nothing extraordinary. However, frontman Joey Nelson now conveys an exceptionally stronger and refined range and clean vocalist, Kevin Stafford, proves to be a sizable asset. His passionate and ethereal voice is some of the strongest the genre has to offer. This is particularly evident on culminating, heart-wrenching title track, “In Loving Memory.” This piece explores a full range of mood changes and exhibits an enticing soaring chorus. The song unravels into a gorgeous synth line and handclaps underlying a powerful delivery of clean singing. The engaging arrangement, the passion delivered in the vocals, and the heart breaking lyrics make this song considerably strong. After a few other notable tracks, “Embrace,” brings the album to a close with a similar heartfelt atmosphere. In the middle of the song spoken words builds to an anguishing scream of “It started with, I think I’m falling in love with you and ends with I’m sorry I’m over you.” This track steals the heart from your chest without any remorse and ends the album with a profound strength.

Monumental strides of melody and unflinching prowess of technical speed and aggression build the heartfelt foundation of In Loving Memory. While the production value seemed to be lacking in their previous album Josh Schroeder at RANDOM AWESOME! studios added to their new comprehensively professional sound. If you’re expecting the same sound from their earlier work, than you’re surely mistaken.Each track is meticulously constructed with an unwavering force. Needless to say, In Loving Memory displays an incredibly cultivated sound and proves that Beneath the Sky have returned stronger than ever.

Score: 8/10

Review written by: Nerissa Judd

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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  • Nice review! I appreciate a critic that recognizes the hard work I put into the production :)

  • Nerissa

    Thanks! Well it certainly takes a lot more than the band’s talent to make a great album. Your work is definitely commendable. :)

  • You are too kind :)