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BEYOND THE LABYRINTH

Progressive Metal • Belgium


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Beyond The Labyrinth biography
Even though in existence since 1996, this band only took final shape in may 2004. Between 96 and 2004 the band had been a studio project (96-98), a band (99-00) and a studio project again (01-03).
Formed around main songwriter/guitar player Geert Fieuw, most of BEYOND THE LABYRINYH's current band members were already involved in BTL from when it was a studio project. In 2001, 2/3 of the current band found themselves already playing a showcase at the Progpower festival (NL) under the name of BEYOND THE LABYRINTH.

Since 2004, the band has quite a stabel line-up with, next to founder Geert Fieuw, Jo De Boeck (vocals), Frederic Ost (guitars), Bart Rokegem (bass), Danny Focke (keyboards) and Filip Vinck (drums), all seasoned veterans. Musically, the band is on the edge of Classic Rock, Prog, Sympho, with some metal influnces, but always very accessible. In the short timespan 2004-2005, BEYOND THE LABYRINTH has already been asked to open for more renowed bands like PAIN OF SALVATION and RIVERSIDE. With a first (longtime-anticipated) release of the album "Signs" in october 2005, the band has already a 2nd album in the making "Castles In The Sand" that they hope to deliver by the end of 2006.

Personally, I highly recommend BEYOND THE LABYRINTH. But then again, I'm not objective, am I ?

: : : Geert Fieuw, BELGIUM : : :

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BEYOND THE LABYRINTH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.61 | 4 ratings
Signs
2005
4.00 | 2 ratings
Castles in the sand
2008
4.00 | 3 ratings
Chapter III - Stories
2011

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BEYOND THE LABYRINTH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Signs by BEYOND THE LABYRINTH album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.61 | 4 ratings

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Signs
Beyond The Labyrinth Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars I haven't come across a great many bands from Belgium, but I am really glad that I have come across this one as this is a fine debut. This is very approachable prog rock, but with the emphasis more on the melody and classic rock stylings as opposed to complicated complexity. In some ways they remind me of the long lost The Covenant, but with more keyboards. The vocals are powerful and much more in rock fashion as opposed to being anything extremely fancy. While the music is punchy and powerful it was the lyrics that caught my attention the first time that I played it. Guitarist and lyricist (and most of the music as well) Geert Fieuw has a way of grabbing attention on a myriad of subjects, whether it be about the first World War, media, or the story of a person who can see events in the future. But for me the highlight is "Freak Show" where fairground music and an announcer lead us into the music world as they see it "Moving on from town to town, Gotta get the message heard, Gotta keep the music going on, Won't you spread the word? They say we're out of format, they tell us that we don't belong, Insist that we are out of fashion, Gotta prove them wrong".

In an email, Geert told me the following: "The Visionary" is about Nostradamus and his '99 prediction of the eclipse, seen from his point of view. Obligatory, we read one of his quatrains at the end of the song. (How Cliché eh ?) But ... in "Icons", the same voice reads something too .. in the second verse we sing "collapsing towers, as foretold" .. and in the bridge the same voice reads out the so-called prediction for 9-11.. However .. that one is a hoax, it's not even a quatrain (3 phrases, not 4) .. So beware of double hidden meanings meant to set you on the wrong foot". This is punchy radio friendly progressive classic rock that deserves to be heard by a much wider audience. It is a very accessible fun album and one that lovers of melodic rock would do well to investigate further ? it really is a goody. www.beyond-the-labyrinth.com

Feedback #89, 2006

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 Castles in the sand by BEYOND THE LABYRINTH album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Castles in the sand
Beyond The Labyrinth Progressive Metal

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars There are times when I feel guilty, and this is one of those as this album was released in 2008 yet it is towards the end of 2011 that I am writing about it. I can only apologise for tardiness and I am trying now to catch up on everything that I should have reviewed yonks ago. This was the follow-up to 'Signs', an album I really enjoyed, and yet again guitarist Geert Fieuw has delivered an extremely strong set of songs. The band is completed by Jo de Boeck (vocals), Genry Versteken (bass), Bruno Goedhuys (drums) and Danny Focke (keyboards) and they lay their wares clearly out for all to hear ? this is a band that enjoyed the Eighties and Nineties and saw no reason at all for their music to reflect anything else. Think Savatage, Uriah Heep and Queensryche with possibly some of their harder AOR cousins and you may get a feeling of what this is all about.

Yes, the band are not English or American (in fact they are Belgian) and it means that Jo has a slight accent but is that a problem? It may be for some but the last time I looked both Scorpions and Helloween were still managing to do very well for themselves, and so should these guys. During the lead up to this album they had toured in support to bands as diverse as Riverside, Jon Oliva's Pain, Doro and Sonata Arctica and I am sure that the metalheads and progheads all enjoyed these guys immensely. This is a powerful hard rock album with more than a nod to AOR and prog and one that all lovers of classic rock should get immediately.

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 Signs by BEYOND THE LABYRINTH album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.61 | 4 ratings

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Signs
Beyond The Labyrinth Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Beyond the Labyrinth is a young flamand prog metal band from Belgium who has two albums in their pocket since now. Signs is their first one from 2005. It took me longer on this album than usual , because I can't decide if is a 3 or a 4 star album, maybe in the end is in between. I was very surprised to see that this album doesn't have any reviews yet. While is not among the top band in prog metal zone, they manage to create something intristing in this field. One of the bands that doesn't sound as DT , they are influenced by de melodic side of prog metal, sometimes they are toying with neo prog, the resoult is a pleasent album all the way, similar to Palace Terrace or even Red Sand. What struck me on this album at first, second , third and so on listings was the key passages made by Danny Focke, excellent arrangements who interlude superb with the rest of the bunch. As I said they play a melodic prog metal, very rare they top it with rougher sound, even some neo prog elemnts are here and there. Very good are also the guitar chops, very sure and very inventiv. What I don't really like is that the pieces, almost all of them are mid tempo, not a single one is more faster, not a bad thing after all, but in the end is kinda boring, I mean you can easely loose the core of the album because of that. So, overall a good album, pleasent all the way, with nice pieces flowing from mellow arrangements like Morning Rendezvous to a more rougher sound as Digital World, showing that they release a good debute , but not excellent. The rest of the pieces are ok, not a weak one, but nothing really groundbreaking either. I"m looking for their next album Castle in the sand, maybe this time they've done it. 3.5 is the fair rate.

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 Signs by BEYOND THE LABYRINTH album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.61 | 4 ratings

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Signs
Beyond The Labyrinth Progressive Metal

Review by edwin

4 stars Beyond The Labyrinth is essentially Geert Fieuw's band, or, more accurately, his life- work. He's laboured incredibly hard over the years to get BTL off the ground, so it must be a wonderful feeling for him to see the birth of their first (musical) baby, "Signs".

In the latest version of the band, the guitarist and main composer has surrounded himself with some superb musicians: Jo De Boeck on vocals, Danny Focke on keyboards, Bart Rokegem on bass, Filip Vinck on drums and the wonderful Frédérick Ost on guitars.

I had never heard a note from the band before receiving "Signs". I'd heard their music discussed, yes, so I expected something good, but never this. To be frank: this band has blown me away! What an incredible album from a virtually unknown band. And it's still growing every time I listen to it.

Beyond The Labyrinth stands for passionate music, with intelligent lyrics and excellent musicianship. It's a bit hard to categorize their music: progressive rock, with lots of classic and melodic rock influences and a metal edge (although it never gets really heavy). With this, they may not have chosen for the most marketable music; perhaps a bit too metal for prog rock purists, and metalheads might prefer their music somewhat more powerful. Still, no-one will deny that this is a fantastic effort, and fans of, say, Arena's more recent material, will no doubt appreciate this very much. I, for one, love this style.

Hard to pick favourites, as most songs are really of high quality. The opener, "Media Vision" sets the standard. Excellent song with a cool chorus. The next one, "In Flanders Fields" is a dark, moody piece about the horrors of war - truly a song that deserves some recognition. "Tomorrow Is Gone" is a melodic jewel that reminds me very much of one of my favourite bands, Praying Mantis, both musically and lyrically.

The compelling "Unholy War" is also great, as is the heavy "Digital World". "The Visionary", with its menacing intro (reminiscent of A.L. Webber's "Phantom Of The Opera"), is the epic of the album. "Prophet Of Doom" reminds me a bit of Tony Martin- era Black Sabbath or Savatage. Definite favourites are the melodic and moving "Icons" and "Freak Show", a quirky, playful rock song with a great chorus that keeps spinning in my head. In fact, only the ballad "Morning Rendezvous" is a bit sub-par; all the others make for a fantastic album.

The musicianship of all members is excellent. Singer Jo De Boeck may not have the greatest range, but his voice is solid and his singing is emotional and expressive. Frankly, a lot of much better known bands have to settle for less. Danny Focke's excellent keyboard work is very much upfront and has an important role in defining BTL's sound. The guitar solos are absolutely amazing. With Vinck and Rokegem, the band have a solid rhythm section. There are a couple of nice guests appearances as well, the most well-known being drummer Daniel Flores (Mind's Eye, XSavior), Marcel Coenen (Sun Caged) and last but not least Threshold's keyboard player Richard West.

"Signs" may not be my number one album of 2005, but it's definitely in my top 10 and without any doubt the most pleasant surprise of the year.

Buy this. Now. You won't regret it.

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