Sound — 7
Beneath The Sky's second album The Day The Music Died is a collision of horror-punk meets death metal. Lead vocalist Joey Nelson screams like a man possessed by Satan as reels of speeding pellets shoot off from Jeff Nelson and Kevin Stafford's guitars crashing violently into the pounding rhythms of bassist Nick Scarberry and drummer Bryan Cash. The guitar chords burn brazenly as they join forces with the hammering lead-filled drum strikes and bass thuds creating a series of ruthless beatings. The gruffy voicing of Nelson's vocal register is reminiscent of the predatorily prowess of Lamb of God's Randy Blythe attacking with the rage of Trivium's Matt Heafy. The band's torrential downpours are relentless offering very little in the way of breaks along the chord progressions. Though Nelson's vocals rise from the belly of Hell and slice with the sharp knives of a lover scorned, he juggles the anger with more melodic sounding tones that allow the listener to grasp the messages in his words, particularly in the middle parts of It All Ends With A Smile and I'll Call This My Own. The band dabbles in ruminating acoustic guitar strums for the intro of Respect For The Dead, and they spread out beautifully in the melodically spun orchestral-rock tunage of Another Day Nelson's voice is a strong presence in the songs exhibiting emotions that relate to feelings of betrayal and being left for dead. The music is blanketed by roughly froth stubbles, seething choruses, crude textures, murky bogs, and sarcophagus-like echoes tinting the music in sheer chaos. The album is a picture of bedlam with piercing sound bytes that show a horror film nature, and one track, at the very least, that the ladies out there will certainly appreciate.
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics reveal feelings of hurt and disillusionment showing a sense that there is no real hope, only a need for self-preservation. The song The Pursuit Of depicts this theme making reflections of, They tell us we can be whatever we want to be / It's called 'the pursuit of happiness' / But do we really ever find it? / Sure we might have our moments of bliss / It's just a shame that it doesn't last forever / Brings us back to the old saying 'easy come, and easy go'. And then sometimes, the lyrics just frighten the heck out of people like in Respect For The Dead when Nelson's vocals drill into the hardcore chips, Run, run, run / As fast as you can / Do not look back / They march in numbers / As they hunger for the living / When there is no more room in Hell / The dead will walk the Earth.
Overall Impression — 7
My feminine instincts kept aiming for the orchestrally flowered rock tune Another Day, but it's softness will probably appall most fans of Beneath The Sky who are used to the death metal twists and hardcore chips that loaded the band's debut record What Demons Do To Saints. There is no getting around comparing the band to the likes of Lamb Of God and Trivium and others of that ilk, but it was impressive that Beneath The Sky went out on a limb and put Another Day on their record The Day The Music Died. For me, Another Day shows the band's new and improved side, although many of their fans will disagree and gravitate to the cyclonic upheavals of The Belle Of The Ball and True Friends Stab You In The Front. What is noticeable is that Beneath The Sky is starting to look for a balance instead of weighing everything heavily in the death metal sphere. Not everything in the melodic rock realm is made for pansies, and Another Day makes that point for Beneath The Sky.