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Album Reviews : Beyond Terror Beyond Grace – Our Ashes Built Mountains

By on April 20, 2010

2634544As soon as your eyes meet with the cover of Our Ashes Built Mountains, you get the sense that Sydney’s Beyond Terror Beyond Grace aren’t releasing a straightforward grind album. While tracks like the 15 second “Shadowhalo” are just balls-to-the-wall speed and brutality, the abundance of samples and soundscapes (thanks to Tim Pope of The Amenta) and the regular drops in pace result in an album that is likely to appease both traditional grind fans, and those who often find the genre extremely fucking monotonous.

I’m in the latter group, which is why tracks like “Paradigm” and “Fugue” get two thumbs up from me. The combination of samples, huge sludge-like riffs and grind ferocity works brilliantly in creating a style that’s frenzied yet memorable.  Moving even further away from their grind base, several tracks even include long ambient soundscapes; however while they are fantastic pieces in their own rights, the transitions before and after a couple of them could do with some work. With Jason Peppiatt (Psycroptic), Alex Pope (Ruins), Anno Vo (Crux), Blake Simpson (Gallows for Grace) and Jared Krafcyk (ex-The Amenta) all contributing guest vocals, there is definitely no dullness in that department either, and allows for some massive vocal layering (see ‘Tumour’). To top things off, there’s an eight minute instrumental track that borders on post-rock with acoustic guitars and heavy riffs that might not vary much but create a fantastic atmosphere that will truly surprise you.

Fans of spastic grind might be cringing a bit by now, but don’t fear. With a total of 20 tracks, and most of them sitting under the 2 minute mark, there is most definitely enough blatant viciousness.

While the production is fairly chunky, and the vocals are often given a huge amount of power which works really well, it can all be a bit unbalanced. The guitars have very little clarity and often end up as a wall of mud. It actually works effectively in some of the slower parts where there is room to breathe, but everything seems to fight for dominance when things speed up.

Despite the off production and occasional bland moments, Our Ashes Built Mountains is an album that current fans of the band will no doubt love, and may surprise those who are yet to truly fall in love with a grind band. 7.4/10

Band: Beyond Terror Beyond Grace
Album: Our Ashes Built Mountains
Year: 2010
Genre: Grind
Origin: Sydney, Australia
Label: Obscene Productions/Deepsend Records

Track listing:
1. Mannequins
2. Amnesia
3. Husk
4. Information Scars
5. Tumour
6. Shadowhalo
7. Words
8. Exposure
9. Fugue
10. Flightless
11. Coil
12. Paradigm
13. Hang Them by Their Crowns
14. Answers (In Front Of Broken Eyes)
15. Control
16. Aesthetics
17. Ashes
18. Pathetic
19. Murakami <- Reviewers choice
20. Bias


Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.