Some things stay etched in a persons head. Take the city of Oulu, Finland´s northernmost province, for example; everytime I read Oulu or something closely related to Oulu, the name SENTENCED comes to mind. Undoubtedly one of the city´s biggest cultural exports, the now defunct band remains synonymous with the uttering of the word/name Oulu.
Beside churning out awesome, black humoured Goth´n´Roll, this very same city also houses an underground progressive scene with bands like RANDOM MULLET, IMPISH, JOINT DEPRESSION, and MENTAL VOICE. In 2003, a collection of people from these aforementioned prog formations decide to start the contemplative banner DEPTH BEYOND ONE´S, and six years later, the band´s first self produced album “Red Lines Entwined” sees the light of day.
I think the most obvious reference would be PAIN OF SALVATION, but a more extreme and amplified version of the Swedes. The music is conceptual (dealing with a person who struggles through life under difficult circumstances) and very... proggy, varied, and the clean singing plus occasional shouts do possess some of the same anguished expressionism that Gildenlow´s made his vocal trademark. As mentioned earlier, this is Progressive Metal through an Extreme Metal filter; the songs have melody, bluesy licks, experimental edge, grooves, double bass drumming, heaviness, quite a few brutal parts, some intense atmospheres, instrumental workouts, adventurous vocals, and much more. Calmer pieces like the piano ridden “Mortuus Inventus” and “The Breathing Space” or the acoustic played “Poverty”, allow the listener to catch his breath between great progspheric songs like the title track and “Under The Shadow Of The Tree”.
Artistic freedom is a strong element in finding a sound of your own. Being unsigned, the band has done everything themselves, and I must say they´ve produced a raw sound that I like; it´s kinda pedestrian like, which makes it more personal, which again ties the fragile concept and atmosphere together into something unique, instead of an uber fancy, top producer twiddling sound. This is a pretty ambitous debut, a bit fragmented maybe but considering the genre I don´t see any reason to detract the obvious quality that lies in the band.
For conceptual, atmospheric, extreme tinged Progressive Metal, I recommend “Red Lines Entwined”... and would some already sign this band, any bids at all???
(Online June 17, 2009)