BEYOND DEVIATION — Beyond Deviation 400 (400 Vocalist World Record Track) (review)

BEYOND DEVIATION — Beyond Deviation 400 (400 Vocalist World Record Track) album cover EP · 2021 · Deathcore Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Vim Fuego
The whole idea of “Beyond Deviation 400” is a mad arsed thing at first sight. It’s a 37 minute deathcore track created by Canadian band Beyond Deviation. In making this epic track, the band pulled in favours from a few friends. Actually, make that a LOT of friends. About 400 friends. See, the 400 in “Beyond Deviation 400” indicates the number of vocalists on this song, which set a new world record for the most solo vocalists on a single track.

Now, deathcore isn’t to everyone’s tastes. A lot of death metal fans treat it like that annoying cousin who wants to borrow your Dying Fetus vinyls, and then scratches them. Yes, well intentioned, but an embarrassment to have around. A lot of gatekeepers and elitists go even further in their disdain for the genre, declaring it “not metal!” Why? Er… hardcore-style breakdowns? Nu-metal style downtuning? Daring to not be straightjacketed by what has come before? Who the fuck can tell. This matters not to the legions of deathcore fans the world over, who just get on with it and create their own glorious noise. And apparently Beyond Deviation play a variety of deathcore called downtempo.

So... 400 vocalists and 37 minutes of downtempo deathcore. What sort of sound do you get? It’s pretty obvious it’s not gonna be bright and breezy uplifting pop music. Nope, you get guttural, bowel-churning doom/death/sludge that’s mostly played on the big fat low strings rather than the twiddly, squeaky high ones. It’s mostly what would be considered breakdowns, except breakdowns are usually brief interludes in a song where the band kicks things into low gear, rather than being the majority of the song like they are here. One of the great benefits of playing so slowly is that it makes the overall sound absolutely fucking massive.

And if there's 400 vocalists, there must be lyrics, right? Yes, there are, and rather a lot of them. They cover weighty philosophical topics like life and existence, reality versus insanity, strength versus weakness, etcetera, etcetera, but are any of them understandable without a lyric sheet? No, not really. And it doesn’t matter. That’s not the point. The voice is an instrument here, a bestial, violent, aggressive roar of an instrument. And despite what you might think, there’s still range for variety in the vocals. It’s hard to tell where one person ends and the next starts, but the grunt/growl/screech flows surprisingly well through this lumbering hulk of a song.

Some metal purists will fucking hate this, but it’s not made for them. This is made for the fans, and by the fans. It also might appeal to the more open-minded and adventurous listeners of funeral doom, doom/death, atmospheric sludge, depressive black metal, or even just the plain curious. This ambitious and slightly crazed project united musicians the world over at a time when it would be easy to feel isolated and alone, and created quite the buzz in a number of extreme music scenes.

Congratulations on the world record Beyond Deviation, and more power to you for conceiving, composing, and executing such a monumental work of dark and deeply satisfying art.
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Tupan wrote:
23 days ago
Another one to the list. Not a fan of deathcore either, but it seems intriguing.
Vim Fuego wrote:
23 days ago
And the thing is, I generally don't like deathcore. I was expecting to slag this off mightily, but I love it.
Psydye wrote:
23 days ago
I'm thoroughly intrigued. Definitely gonna have to check this out.

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