Beyond Haven – Don’t Back Down

Beyond Haven. I see the appeal. I get the contrast between the chugging and the grooving of the music. The arrangements are dynamic and they deliver a tight, finely honed instrumental. It’s just… the ‘awwwwww’ factor of it all.

Brian Vain is obviously very influenced by such howlers as Zakk Wyld of Black Label Society, but it just feels insincere. As I listen to the slow-pitched lyrics, I can only think about Scott Stahpp (the ‘h’ is added intentionally), and remember the days I listened to Creed. No, not by accident either. I have listened to Creed in the same way as I listen to Beyond Haven. That being said, this band is much better than Creed, in my opinion. If you enjoy, or are at least open to listening to Creed, this band is a step up.

For every triumphant solo, there is a counter-balance. For each phrase of splendor, there are three of cliches. For a blue sky of awesome music, there is a grey cloud of lyrics and vocals. Are we clear on the imagery here? That’s because even though I’m not speaking in clear English, there is subtly in what’s being said. There is an expectation for whoever is hearing (or in this case, reading) these words to interpret them given the context. The music is on a level that can make headway in the sea of up and comers. It’s the lyrics that catch them in the undertow.

Maybe it’s me. Maybe stoner rock/metal like Cluth and Red Fang have spoiled me. I picked up Whales and Leeches from Portland, Oregon’s Red Fang and let me tell you – that is stoner at its finest. I could be putting metal on a pedestal. Maybe these guys are more suited to the stoner rock crowd. I don’t want to write this record off, but it’s hard to take an album seriously when the lyrics in the insert could be recreated with three others like it, some scissors and tape.

Based on Exhibit A, a.k.a. Don’t Back Down, my verdict for Beyond Haven is to take their words seriously. Each band has a certain expectation to fulfill. When that microphone is staring you in the face, you can’t just stand there and relate. Push the creative boundaries a little, and give the listener something they can dig into! Until then, all this band will be is great instrumentals and disappointment.

Boys, I want to be impressed with the next one. Get thoughtful, lose the fake voice, and give’r. YOU KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT. If you want to have screaming on the album, try not to a) wait ‘til the last song, and b) only have the screaming present in that one song.

Written by Jacques Asselin

About Jacques Asselin 13 Articles
Native to Montréal, now living in Halifax, Jacques Asselin is a multi instrumentalist. Acting as vocalist for The 4Heads, Don't Think Twice, Teach Fire and Fallen Tribunal, Jacques is no stranger to the stage, or the studio. Starting off in pop punk territory, his eclectic taste has branched out in both directions. On one hand - folk and blues. On the other - metal (from stoner to progressive). No matter what genre, Jacques is a fan of passion and innovation in music.

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