Artist: Far Beyond the Sunrise
Album: Far Beyond the Sunrise
The most valued treasures are not the ones we have no knowledge of. Rather, they are ones we are tantalized with for our entire lives but stay just out of arm’s reach. If we’re unaware of something existing, not having it is all we know—but if it is out there, in plain sight but put beyond our reach, we feel drawn to it like moths to a flame. For as long as heavy music has dominated the spotlight of the underground music scene, there have been rumblings of a band capable, creative and crushing enough to seamlessly meld aggression and atmosphere—tedious technicality and terrifying brutality—with the skill of an expert blacksmith. While we heavy music fanatics have had every reason to believe such a group of musicians exists, we haven’t had much in the way of tangible evidence; until Far Beyond the Sunrise, that is. This genius group of gutwrenchingly talented musicians confidently stride the line between progressive, “djenty” metalcore and eviscerating heavy-hitting hardcore that so many bands are terrified to even approach. With grating, grisly vocals, brash breakdowns and strong-but-shredding song structure, Far Beyond the Sunrise take an experience that has been kept out of the listener’s reach for eons and places it squarely in their palms.
Something about the term “djent” carries an ominous, eye-rolling and polarizing weight—and while Far Beyond the Sunrise have more than their fair share of groove and bounce, the weight they offer is a whole different kind of heavy. This New Jersey juggernaut combines quick, pummeling grooves with jarring bits of downtempo devastation and contrast it all with sections of surreal ethereality. Where their self-titled release is quick and punchy, the listener has percussionist Bill Finocchiaro to thank. The opening salvo to “Atychiphobia” and the climax to “Credibility Loss” are excellent examples. Here, Finocchiaro is furious and fleet-footed, rattling the listener’s head with hurried kick drum strokes and punctual, punishing fills. Finocchiaro’s fleet footwork and quick tom strokes are amplified by a low flood of filthy groove from bassist Corbin Smith. Smith keeps perfect time with Finocchiaro’s furious drumming, adding “oomph” to breakdowns like those dotting “Two Faced,” yet providing a like through the ether to moments of atmosphere provided by guitarists Joe Carrozza and Kyle Curtis. Where Finocchiaro and Smith provide the EP’s sound foundation and moments of spine-shredding heaviness, Carrozza and Curtis lend versatility to Far Beyond the Sunrise’s dynamic. The best examples of this are found within “Atychiphobia” and “Credibility Loss,” where the duo roam from strife-driven, slamming breakdowns to soaring segments of shred and atmosphere without second thought. The interlude in “Atychiphobia” is especially evident of this, as Finocchiaro takes a backseat to Carrozza and Curtis’ soft, jazzy interplay—giving the listener a much needed break mere minutes into the EP.
To speak of versatility on Far Beyond the Sunrise’s debut EP is to speak of the enormous vocal talent frontman Josh Frazier brings to the table. Frazier is a honed, harsh force to be feared, mastering a broad range of vocal styles and employing them with marked endurance and lethal efficacy. “Empty Vessels,” as well as the catchy, lyrical juggernaut “Guilty Conscience” are the best examples of this on the entire EP. Frazier oscillates between gritty, gory lows and shrill, shrieking screams so fluidly he may as well have swallowed an entire stick of butter and washed it down with some cooking oil. His supreme vocal ability and confidence are evident throughout every second of Far Beyond the Sunrise’s self titled EP, failing to let the listener question his skill for even one syllable. What’s more is that Frazier’s intelligence and talent play a key role in filling out the band’s boisterous dynamic, giving them an edge that many breakout bands have yet to sharpen.
Rather than try and smother the listener with sensory overload and maintain constant intensity throughout the EP, Far Beyond the Sunrise expertly shift their focal points to keep the listener from getting overwhelmed. Tracks like “Atychiphobia” and “Two Faced” focus on the band’s brutalizing and brilliant instrumentation. Here, Frazier lightens up and let’s Carrozza and Curtis take the reigns, dotting the track with still interludes and serenity. However, tracks like “Empty Vessels” and “Guilty Conscience” are the inverse: Frazier dominates, boasting his range and talent over a canvas of fluid, prominent but not show-stealing instrumentation. Finally, a give-and-take equilibrium is established on “Credibility Loss,” which is the band’s most well-rounded but least memorable endeavor—showing them effectively but desperately trying to cover all their bases.
If you’ve been searching for a brilliant amalgam of beauty and brutality, look no further than Famined Records’ Far Beyond the Sunrise. A marvelously diverse release featured on a marvelously diverse label, this quintet are the answer to years spent searching for an honest and even balance of all that heavy music has to offer.
For Fans Of: Prime Meridian, Veil of Maya, Outline in Color, Structures
By: Connor Welsh