Beyond Mara

Succumb To Reality

review published: 9/8/2017


Succumb To Reality is the debut record from Beyond Mara, a Norwegian metalcore act originally formed in 2015 while its members were still in high school.

The EP kicks off with a 50-second intro track whose inclusion is questionable. Why every other band feels the need to begin their record with a pointless composition continues to baffle me. Oh well.

The record's first proper track, "Disease," essentially encapsulates the Beyond Mara recipe: take metalcore grooves, add a layer of raspy screamed vocals, and season with elements of deathcore, djent, and progressive metal. Thankfully, there are no choruses with clean vocals to be found, neither on this song nor the entire record. Such an approach would push Beyond Mara over the edge into cliché purgatory. Rather than employ saccharine, clean vocals to inject melody into their otherwise angry music, the band wisely resorts to tasteful, albeit predictable guitar leads. "Disease" is a decent track, marred slightly by some clumsy vocal placement during its heavy middle section.

"Monument" continues the metalcore onslaught, with a barrage of staccato guitar riffs and double-bass heroics that gives way to a pair of interesting, Vision Of Disorder-esque sections, the latter of which is (again) sullied by some awkward vocal phrasing. Lead guitars provide a motif of sonic hopefulness while Beyond Mara's rhythm section continues its nihilistic metalcore march, all before coming together nicely into a groove somewhat reminiscent of Misery Signals. Rinse and repeat.

Succumb To Reality hits its midpoint with "Soy El Fuego," a relatively forgettable track that cycles back and forth between some generic constructs. The metalcore ennui continues until follow-up track "Mountains" approaches its three-minute mark, at which point the band locks into a tasty groove over which a clarinet (I think) walks a few scales. It's a simple formula, but one of the most compelling moments of the EP.

Interestingly, there isn't really a single guitar solo on the record. I'm not complaining either -- there are way too many metal bands that solo just for the sake of soloing. Chalk one up for Beyond Mara in this regard.

"The Void" is another respectable song, but one you won't likely feel compelled to hear again. That's really the downfall of Succumb To Reality; the riffs are polished, the song structures are more or less beyond reproach, the vocals are competent, and production is completely professional, but there's nothing that begs replay. There's no song that will move you. This EP is a collection of decent metalcore tracks that you've all but forgotten once outro track "Lux" emits a few final, tortured screams.

Bottom Line: Beyond Mara has the modern metalcore formula down pat, but they need to develop as songwriters if they hope to stand out among myriad other bands of a similar ilk.

Track Listing: 01. Mortem 02. Disease 03. Monument 04. Soy El Fuego 05. Mountains 06. The Void 07. Lux