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The Murder of my Sweet - Beth Out of Hell

The Murder of My Sweet - CD Review
Beth Out of Hell

Beth Out of Hell



CD Info
Frontiers Music srl
13 Tracks
English Lyrics

After teasing their followers with a trio of songs foretelling their next project, and a three year hiatus, the Swedish Gothic/Cinematic Metal Band, The Murder of My Sweet is releasing their third full-length album. Beth Out of Hell, the product of the three years, is perhaps the most ambitious and serious undertaking by the band. This album relays to the listener, the timeless saga of good versus evil, but with an interesting dark and heavier twist. Most definitely, this is storytelling through music at its best. Add a children’s choir, guest voice actors, plus the traditional metal sound, and you have the best album so far for this band. Another interesting twist to this story, as told by the band, is that the ending was first written before the rest of the tale.

The Murder of My Sweet, as a band, originated in 2007 in Stockholm, Sweden. Daniel Flores, drummer and producer created the band and considers movie scores, film noir storytelling, Queen, ELO, and Genesis as inspiration for the music. In additional to Daniel Flores, (7 Days, Crash the System, Mind’s Eye, Tears of Anger, The Codex, XsavioR, ex-Hubi Meisel, Ex-Zool, ex-Afterglow, ex-Evil Masquerade, ex-Fatal Force, ex-Mindcage, ex-Secret Sphere), who also does keyboards, and vocals. Then there is Angelica Rylin, who does more than just cover the vocals, both lead and background, for the band. She and Daniel are the writers and creators of the story. Guitars have been masterfully handled by Christopher Vetter since 2012 and the newest member of the band is Bassist Patrik Janson (ex-Platitude) who joined this year. Besides the band members, this album also includes a children’s choir, and voice actors Grace Méridan and Andi Kravljaca, which all combine to bring the epic story to life.

Their first full length release was Divanity (2009), and after spending 2010 and 2011 touring Sweden, France, and Germany, where they played at multiple festivals, Bye, Bye Lullaby was released in 2012. In addition, four songs were released as singles. The band is best known for its heavy orchestrations and Angelica’s powerful vocals, and this continues for this album. For those who have been looking forward to this, all I can say is that the wait is over and it has been worth it. It will be extremely difficult for Beth Out of Hell not to be my album of the year. Those who have studied or played music will easily pick up on the subtle signs that these are true musicians, who have crafted their trade quite well. The listener is constantly treated to multiple meter and some key changes within songs. The music goes back and forth between full orchestrations to the bare essentials and vocally, we have the strong driving voice along with the sweet soft one, with just a sweep of the hand. This album, according to Daniel, is “an apocalyptic love story between good and evil.” As the band states in a video on Facebook, what would be the outcome of a love story between the daughter of Satan, Beth, and the angel Michael. It will be difficult not to discuss all the songs because all of them are part of the important story. The mind is assaulted aurally and as I listened to this album, I could see the story playing out in my mind with all the angst and emotion demanded by the characters.

As I stated before, there are three songs from the 2012 album that are the prologue for this album. Those songs are “Waiting For The 27th," “Black September,” and “Phantom Pain.” The band has released promo videos on Facebook of the three songs to remind listeners of the basis for this story. “Hell On Earth” is so much a song as it features synthesized sounds and bell like keys under the voice actors, who warn us that humans should not feel safe if we knew what was happening. As Beth believes that “he loves me,” we hear the music continually crescendos leading into the next song.

The song, “The Awakening,” follows next and it has a male chorus rhythmically speaking over synthesized strings, which lead to our first experience hearing Beth, who continues the rhythmical chant. Then the guitars and drums enter, bringing a driving beat and a short guitar solo before a children chorus sings an angelic over synthesized keys. Beth takes over after that with a bit of anger in her voice and the music matches her voice. Speaking of how she has arrived on earth, the vocals are nice and sustained. The drums change to a syncopated rhythm while Beth does a short chant. Then the driving beat returns and the song ends with a chorus, (not children), singing under her soaring “ahs,” almost a counter-melody and then returning to the melody.

“World in Ashes,” opens with a couple of line by the female voice part. The guitars are pretty heavy with a jumping line by synthesized keys. Angelica’s voice is strong and flows very well with the music. For the chorus, the meter changes with accents on off beats and the vocals and instruments are in unison. There is a slight bridge and then a back and forth between Beth and several voices. Two thirds into the song, there is another change musically with her voice lightly supported instrumentally before the chorus is repeated. A slight weakness comes out in Beth at the end of the song.

The song, “Always The Fugitive,” was almost my favorite pick because it really showcases Angelica’s voice. Her voice is strong, sustained, with a slight hint of emotion. The vocal line is strong despite what the instruments are doing underneath. And the instrumental accompaniment is varied throughout the song whether it is the synthesized keys or the guitars and drums with a heavy beat. The band released this song on YouTube. It is just the song and it can be heard here.

“Bitter Love” is a unique song in that it allows the listener to hear the Archangel Michael for the first time. Sung by Daniel, who I must say, surprised me with his voice. The song opens with broken piano chords under a spoken male voice part. Then Daniel enters and his voice is nice, sustained, and emotional. Beth responds to his part, and then the song changes to synthesized strings, with an off-beat drum part before we reach the chorus. In the chorus, there is a choir singing with Beth. As the song progresses, both vocals go back and forth getting stronger and with a crescendo. Later, in the song, Angelica uses her upper range rather nicely. Then the chorus and Michael are telling Beth to go back to where she belongs while she protests. At the end, the piano returns with the male voice part. This leads into “Still,” which is a contrast with driving heavy guitar and drums. Beth’s lyrics and voice is strong. The chorus has her telling of her pain and she does it very well. The listener can hear the angst in her voice, while the instruments provide the pulsing beat under everything. Before the last chorus, there is a nicely played guitar solo, which is mimicked by the vocal part. The end of song features a soulful Beth accompanied by the piano.

The story continues with “Humble Servant,” another song featuring Angelica’s strong voice. There are hints of symphonic and cinematic metal throughout the song. The melody soars, while underneath there is the strong guitar, driving drums, and keys. There is a major key change and an extended guitar solo leads into the final chorus. The band released a lyric video of this song which can be seen here.

“Requiem For A Ghost,” the second longest song on the album, opens with a mixture of odd sounds before giving way to a lush, cinematic sound. Daniel starts the vocals, and he is joined shortly by Angelica, and there is a short, nice duet. This song definitely sounds like it should be part of movie score. Then, no surprise, there is a complete change to a heavier, metal song. Beth belts out strong vocals over the strong, instrumental part and both accent parts of lyrics at the same time. The chorus is one of the most sustained and sticks to the listener’s mind quite easily. Another lengthy guitar solo bridges over to another change in the song where the female vocals are softer, but just as strong. This song returns to the cinematic feel before a crescendo and then Daniel and Angelica repeat the chorus about “owning the creatures of the night” individually. There is another guitar solo and then the song ends with another very nice duet by the two. The story is continued with “Euthanasia,” an interesting song. The female voice part introduces the song, but the interesting feature is a staccato part that is first played in the drums and then continues in the keys. The guitars dive in and there is a short, upper synthesized part that floats over the other parts. Beth is quite angry in this song and it comes out in the vocals. An extended guitar solo bridges one section of the song and comes out again at the end of the song.

The other three songs that continue the love story are perhaps most interesting because they are not all traditional metal songs. The first, “Tide After Tide,” is unique in that it is the slowest song on the album. It reminds me of an old jazz song, complete with the walking bass line. It also features Daniel mostly, and he is quite expressive throughout the song. “Poets By Default,” is most along the heavier metal with touches of cinema throughout. Beth is featured here as she relays about how she does not like bringing destruction to the Earth. The song opens with the male voice warning her, before the metal beat kicks in. Here she expresses anger with strong vocals that are expertly sustained. A nice surprise is that in the middle of the song, a change occurs as we hear Beth express hope in the form of a “dragon fly.” We hear her urging it to fly before a guitar solo leads us back to the angry person once again. The song ends with the female voice speaking. The last song of the three, “Heaven Succumb,” has a bluesy touch to it, played in the guitar, and later in the keyboards. Even Beth’s vocals help accent the beat. It isn’t 12-Bar Blues, but there is a definite nod, which is interesting considering the name of the song. The drums support the style nicely, and the guitar repeats the pattern constantly throughout. However, it ends right before the end, when there is a soft choir repeating the title of the song, which leads into the last song.

“Means To An End” is not only the last song on the album, but it is also my favorite, even though this was probably one of my most difficult decisions. Trying to pick a favorite one here is like trying to hold an ocean in your hands. This song, besides wrapping up the story, is unique in that parts of the other songs are included even though the lyrics and style is changed. The song opens as a continuation of the song before it and the voice actors speak of the Archangel descending. Then the dark metal instrumental parts begin supported by a driving drum beat. Angelica’s voice comes across strong, with a touch of mockery as she tells him to save what he can. There is a call and response that occurs between Beth and a chorus that repeats “It’s a means to an end.” Daniel enters and there is the epic battle portrayed vocally between him and Angelica. Part of the battle involves snippets of the earlier songs. Throughout this part, with the instrumental parts going full throttle, the voices are soaring over them. This is almost Wagnerian in style. There are little solo guitar clips thrown in and emotion is expressed lyrically, vocally and instrumentally. The listener can literally experience the pain from both of the characters. This song, to sum up, is one of the best written pieces musically, that I have heard, and I have heard a lot of excellent music in my lifetime.

Words alone, for me cannot describe this album. I can only say that you need to experience it for the full effect. This album, story, etc. ranks among the top of the cinematic, gothic metal music. There is music here for everyone. Even though some of the songs are fairly long in length, the listener is unaware, due to the excellent music writing and variety within the songs. The fans of The Murder Of My Sweet, will definitely not be disappointed. For them, I can say that the wait was worth it. For other music listeners, you are doing yourselves a big disfavor if you do not add this album to your library. When Beth Out Of Hell is released, don’t walk, instead, run to purchase it. Allow yourself to be treated to an outstanding musical telling of a dark, apocalyptic love story. The storytelling is top notch and the vocals, female, male, and children’s’ choir are superb. The music and musicians show that they have mastered their instruments and there is a mixture of Metal, some Rock, Jazz, and Blues used in the presentation. The added bonus of voice actors only add to the album. I will be curious and look forward to seeing what The Murder Of My Sweet provide in the future. Whatever that may be, and however long it takes, based on this album, it will definitely be worth the wait. For additional information on the band, please check out the following links:

Official website
Band's Twitter
Band's Facebook
Band's YouTube Channel