A metal album that is two songs and approximately 20 minutes long must be some epic doom metal, right? As it turns out, not necessarily. The Beckoning have forged their own brand of metal that is a combination of progressive, black, goth, symphonic, and ambient with some hints of doom and even folk metal. With all of that going on, it makes sense to have songs that are almost 10 minutes long.
The Beckoning, often on the internet at The Beckoning (Canada), hail from Edmonton, Alberta and originally started as a doom/goth metal band but have evolved over time in their current style which fuses many different genres. The band was founded by Meghann and Roy Turple who then recruited guitarist Eldon Loewen to complete their sound.
Desolate opens up with “The Sifting”, a track that starts out with some staccato drumming and riffing that come out in machine gun-like bursts before heading into a more driving section punctuated by haunting clean female backing vocals and some black/death metal growls. From there the song ventures into some spoken vocals before moving into clean vocals that have that darker goth tone to them. With a sound that encompasses so many genres including some notorious for very long songs, it’s easy to see why their two songs are near ten minutes in length. Despite some of the theoretical incongruity possible by mixing so many styles, The Beckoning have managed to craft coherent pieces that flow. Transitions abound and work seamlessly. Vocals are definitely a strong suit as well. The female vocals are beautiful and haunting while the male vocals growl and snarl in black/death metal fashion but also work when they shift to clean singing. Musicianship is excellent throughout and production and mixing are very well done, individual instruments and vocals are clear and discernible with “Desolate Sanctuary” starts out with almost a power metal feel between the guitars and clean female vocals combined with an overall melodic feel. From there the song, as expected by this point, takes many twists and turns. I will say I’m not a big fan of some of the clean vocals in the song that approach the soaring screams of Rob Halford (Judas Priest) or Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden), but they don’t detract significantly from the song for me.
In both songs, the transitions are somewhat subtle, so the listener may almost forget that the song may have shifted from black metal to a gothy, ambient sound and in addition to the skillful musicianship, that is some of the beauty of this album. As if there isn’t enough to recommend this album, the band currently has it available on their bandcamp site as a free download. For fans of any of the styles of metal The Beckoning employ, you will really be missing out on a gem if you don’t go get this.
Written by John Jackson
1. The Sifting
2. Desolate Sanctuary
Roy Turple – Drums,Vocals
Meghann Turple – Keyboard,Piano,Vocals
Eldon Loewen – Guitar,Bass
‘The Killing Fields’ [Warclub Records Comp] 2011
‘Cyber 10 Dark Nights’ [Cyber 10 Records] 2011
‘Songs That Made an Impact 2011′ [coming soon]
‘Canadian Metal Assault’ 2011 [Voices of the underground]
The demo is available for FREE here.
Record Label: Independent, July 2014