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Nation Beyond - The Aftermath Odyssey (8/10) - Sweden - 2008

Genre: Progressive Metal
Label: Burning Star Records
Playing time: 63:27
Band homepage: Nation Beyond

Tracklist:

  1. The End
  2. A Rainy Day In Hell
  3. In The Ashes
  4. The Wanderer
  5. New Eden City
  6. The Council
  7. Soulmates
  8. Last Deceiver
  9. Confessions
  10. War Of The Wasteland
  11. Aftermath
  12. Point Zero
  13. Soulmates (radio edit)
Nation Beyond - The Aftermath Odyssey

An ambitious post-apocalyptic concept album from members of DEBASE and FACE DOWN sees Swedish Progsters, NATION BEYOND, pull off a major coup for a debut release. This is stirring stuff indeed. NATION BEYOND straddle influences from the likes of early QUEENSRYCHE, through operatic SAVATAGE, to the savvy technical adroitness of WOLVERINE and the hard hitting pseudo-Power Metal of THRESHOLD. Quite a mix you’ll agree, and over the course of ‘’The Aftermath Odyssey’’ NATION BEYOND turn in a performance that belies their tender Progressive years.

 

This is fresh, vibrant Prog tempered with a feral bite of Power Metal. The opening gambit of ‘’The End’’ and ‘’A Rainy Day In Hell’’ echoes a Hollywood movie score and although it might be an understated start, it’s a brief calm before the storm. The driving heavy riffing that accompanies ‘’In The Ashes’’ ramps up the heaviness meter delivering a pulverising dose of Power Prog Metal. It only gets better through the succinct brilliance of ‘’The Wanderer’’ where the band expound Heavy riffing with a deft technical touch. There’s absolutely no doubt that it’s complicated stuff but engagingly approachable and that is in no small part due to the voice of Nielz Lindstrom who turns in a captivating show throughout. And that is put to the test on the epic ‘’The Council’’ as NATION BEYOND go through all their tricks to produce, arguably, the albums highlight.

 

Too many times the term "Progressive" denotes an overwhelming sense of bloated men in beards and wizards capes drawing out indulgent keyboard solos and knights ice skating. NATION BEYOND is the exact opposite, exhibiting a contemporary Prog Metal sound that is both technically demanding and fascinating in execution. Well worth checking out.

(Online May 12, 2008)

Chris Doran



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