Croatian five piece, What Lies Beyond, in their own words, “deliver an eruptive amalgam of Asking Alexandria meets Avenged Sevenfold with touches of Sixx:A.M”. As I listen to their debut album, Coup De Grace, I would say that is a fair assessment.
Formed by lifelong friends, Ivan Sipic and Filip Samardzic, What Lies Beyond have gone through a number of member changes to bring the album to fruition, and after finally solidifying the line-up, they hit the studio to record what became Coup De Grace.
As you listen to the first three songs, Turning Tides, Drink the Night Away and Behind Closed Doors, you get the sense of urgency and hunger that comes with a young band working hard to bring their vision together. Definitely wearing the influence of bands like Avenged and Asking Alexandria on their sleeves, and absolutely dipping a toe in the mainstream pond at the same time.
Edge of Sanity is a lot more ambitious musically and thematically. Opening with a somber guitar intro, before building into a huge hard rock banger. The vocals are reminiscent of Triviums Matt Heafy, circa The Crusade album. Guilty Crown unleashes some growling vocals, against a back drop of very accessible hard rock.
The strengths of What Lies Beyond are mostly in their guitars, with great riffing, and well suited solos found throughout the album – that’s not their only strength though. They have a definite understanding of what it takes to put a song together. Listen to Nothing Left To Prove or or the 2 part Marylyn Rose for perfect examples.
Confessions is anthemic and fast paced – The metalcore styled vocals make a return here, and coupled with the vocal harmonies in the background, it becomes hard to ignore. It’s rare that a song this deep into an album would be a highlight, but confessions is great!
Neverending Story takes us in to full blown metalcore territory, but retains all of the melodic sensibility that has made Coup De Grace such an enjoyable listening experience for me.
Bitter Truth closes out the album, and this track has as much in common with Godsmack as anything else. It’s a style that suits What Lies Beyond in a big way, and I’d love to hear more of this straight ahead hard rock from them.
I went in to this album not knowing what to expect, and it’s safe to say that I’m left pleasantly surprised by what I’ve heard. What Lies Beyond have a solid future ahead of themselves.
Review by Shayne McGowan