I think it’s safe to say that a large number of us metal fans will never get tired of the ever-ongoing arms race that every metal band seems to be in, especially when it comes to bands that are constantly trying to set themselves apart from the rest. It’s not exactly uncommon to see symphonies done throughout metal with a whole subgenre being centered around the potential exploits of such a concoction. But bringing together actual classical arrangements with metal is seldom seen, and it takes a really unique band to make it done well.
Quite literally, the only example of this that I could relate to anything like I’ve seen today is from the excellent act called Les Chants du Hasard whose heavily black metal influenced take on chamber music is something can only be considered staggering given how stunning the two albums from the name has accrued. Knowing that, Sunyata’s upcoming opus is something of a similar vein but far from anything that should be considered along the exact same lines. I find it completely safe to say that I’ve never heard anything exactly like what’s to be heard within the expansive universe that “The Great Beyond” weaves with seemingly little effort, and it’s on top of tremendous experimentation paired with clear talent that makes this precisely 40-minute album something to behold in virtually every respect. This is an exceedingly bold concoction of funeral doom, classical works in the vein of 20th and 21st-century works, electronica, and even the occasional and daring post elements to really make Sunyata’s blend of music the very definition of unique. It all comes together almost too well as “The Great Beyond” is as wondrously expansive as its namesake with Sunyata brilliantly exploring themes that are long familiar to us, but they’ve yet to lose their potency: the humankind bewilderment of the shining heavens, feeling alone amongst an ocean of others, coming to grip with our own eventual deaths, and so much more. That’s all just the tip of the iceberg for what Sunyata has to offer us for this fantastic work that’s by far a one of a kind work that demands to be heard as well as expanded upon simply due to the immense potential that such a concoction can contain whether or not that new iteration comes from Sunyata or a new name. Either way, I can easily see this work being immensely influential to whoever is lucky enough to stumble upon its greatness.
I already said it once and I’ll say it again: in every possible form, I have never heard anything quite like this before, and Sunyata has done a magnificent job to make it as memorable as possible via their performance, talent, and daring. From beginning to end, “The Great Beyond” has so much more than I could’ve ever hoped for and it is very possible to become a cornerstone of an already niche corner of doom that many people never knew that they needed.
“The Great Beyond” releases on November 11th!
LISTEN to advanced tracks from “The Great Beyond” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE the mastermind behind Sunyata, John D. Reedy, on Facebook here.