Bass players take a lot of crap. Almost or more crap than drummers. For some reason, bass players and drummers seem to be the expendable pieces of a band. However, for many bands, the bass player is the anchor. There are the obvious choices; Geddy Lee, Dug Pinnick, Geezer Butler, Steve Harris. In death metal you of course have Steve DiGorgio, Alex Webster, and Sean Malone. I think another name should be mentioned here; Dominic ‘Forest’ Lapointe of Beyond Creation. Many of you are probably already familiar with Beyond Creation. Their monster of a debut album, “The Aura,” has been on my Zune since I first heard it. One listen to he and his band mate’s new album, “Earthborn Evolution,” released October 24, 2014 via Season of Mist, and you will know what I mean.
The album opens with the brutal ‘Elusive Reverence.’ This is the bridge of familiarity that carries us from “The Aura” to “Earthbound Evolution.” Then we have ‘Sous La Lueur De L’empereur,’ which starts out in a flurry as well. The solo break slows down as Lapointe and guitarist Kevin Chartré intricately weave in and out of each other. As the record moves along, you start to notice more prog elements filtering in. The title track starts out with a cool finger tapped guitar riff that develops into the backbone of this slow, but deadly song. This track is a great demonstration of Philippe Boucher’s precision behind the drum kit. His ability to switch from subtle to savage is superb. The following track, ‘The Great Revelation,’ with its short length and long fade out, feels like more of an extension of the title track than its own song.
‘Neurotical Transmissions’ has an almost Cynic feel to it circa “Traced in Air.” Simon Girard switches between guttural growls and blackened shrieks throughout the track. By this point on the album you don’t even notice that ‘Abstrait Dialog’ is an instrumental until it’s over. The wobbly throbbing of the bass and guitar have you so enthralled, you don’t notice there were no lyrics for over three minutes. But don’t worry, Girard’s dynamic vocals snaps us back to attention on ‘The Axiom.’ Lapointe’s loopy droopy bass pulls you up and down along the way.
‘L’exorde’ is similar to ‘The Great Revelation’ in its limited time span, but this short shot of death is its own entity. This leads into the aptly named ‘Theatrical Delirium.’ Its dark intro of ominous tones is the stuff horror soundtracks are made of. They are a fitting opening for the brutal mid tempo assault that follows. Then with about a minute left, when you think the song is over, the band breaks into some sort of jazz/fusion/muzak break like you are suddenly transported to a department store elevator!?! Closing track ‘Fundamental Process,’ starting with a similar synth intro, sounds like a second helping of ‘Theatrical Delirium,’ but from a different recipe.
All band’s music is a sum of its parts, and no instrument takes a back seat on the whirling dervish of technical/progressive/jazzy death metal that is Beyond Creation’s “Earthborn Evolution.” I can’t help thinking that this record might not be nearly as cool if it were not for Mr. Lapointe’s phenomenal bass work. This is one bass player and band that should continue to stand out in the future.