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    [ Beyond the Embrace ]


    Beyond the Embrace

    Shawn Massachussetts' Beyond the Embrace has come out of relative nowhere with their triple guitar assault and an impressive debut on Metal Blade Records. Chris X had the chance to talk it up with vocalist Shawn Gallagher about the band's sound,the new album, and the unbelievable story of how they got signed.

    How long have you been together?

    About 2 and a half years.

    And has it been the same lineup the whole time,or...?

    We actually just had a drummer change. Mike, who was in the band from the beginning, just left, I guess you could say it was creative differences. We got a new guy Kevin, he's awesome. He's more of a prog-rock drummer, but he's better, we really like his sound.

    So how did you end up on Metal Blade?

    It's pretty weird actually, we recorded our first demo a year and a half ago,we sent out a shitload to abunch of labels, never anything big though. We also sent out a bunch to different magazines for review. Someone at Metal Blade saw the review it got in BWBK and they contacted us,which was pretty wicked. We never thought about sending our stuff to them, we always thought they were too big or whatever, so it was kinda weird. So they sent a rep to come met us, he watched us play,we gave him all our stuff,and he offered us the contract right there.

    You haven't really toured extensively, just pretty much played shows in the Northeast. Now that you're on a bigger label, are there any plans for extensive touring?

    Yeah,we've never toured. But they're working on something for the end of June, possibly with Dying Fetus. And something else for the end of July, that's not confirmed yet. We might play Milwaukee too,depending on the July tour.

    How did you end up with three guitarists? Was it a conscious decision, or did it just kinda end up that way? What's the songwriting process like with three guitarists?

    Me and Oscar started the band, we jammed with one guitarist for a while. And with the sound we wanted, we wanted to do harmonies and solos over solid rhythms. It was my idea to do the threee guitarist thing. But its hard sometimes. We've had to play shows without backline. We need our own sound.

    The new album,what's it called?

    "Against the Elements."

    And when does it officially come out?

    May 21st. Hopefully it does,'t get pushed back.

    Are you happy with the way the album turned out?

    Yeah,I think overall,we're happy with it. Of course, there's always things you wish you could change. I'm a wicked perfectionist. We produced it pretty much ourselves. We could have spent a lot more on it, but we kept it cheap, recorded in a local studio. The final mix was done by Juan Urteaga, and he really enhanced it and brought it out.

    I'm assuming you're influenced by the whole Swedish metal sound, and I know you've covered a couple Iron Maiden songs. What other stuff are you guys into?

    We all have a lot of different stuff that we listen to, and it all comes out. the guitarists are mostly thrash guys, stuff that came out before 94, Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Sepultura. And I love all that stuff, but when I heard In Flames for the first time,they blew me away. I've always been into more melodic stuff like Helloween, Yngwie Malmsteen, Iron Maiden. I think in Flames is the best at what they do,the hybrid of like death metal with aggressive vocals and melody,I like other bands like that,like Evergrey, Blind Guardian. We started out in the beginning as a melodic death metal band,and I'd like to progress more in the melodic direction. Just, more and more bands are doing that sort of sound.

    Yeah, you even have like hardcore bands doing that sound now.

    Yeah, and I love all those bands, but like I say, when I heard In Flames , they totally revolutionized music.

    What other releases do you have out besides the Metal Blade album?

    We have a demo that we put out. and we combined that with,we also put out a 3 song cassette. And we had promos we put together to give out at the NJ metalfest.

    So with an album coming out on a big label like Metal Blade, what are your expectations for the band at this point?

    Well,we hope we will be able to reach more people, tour, and just get going. What we're doing...we just want to get out and tour. It's hard for us right now to even get shows in our own scene. Metal Blade is a cool label, they support you. And supposedly they only sign bands they believe in,so... I can't complain.

    Do you have a website, or any merchandise you want to promote?

    Everything's on www.beyondtheembrace.com We're a doing a big revamping, with the new album coming out and everything.

    Any final comments?

    Thank you to anyone who reads this for supporting us. Email us, give us comments, we want feedback, we want to know what people think. We have some shows coming up, I don't know how close you are, we're playing in NJ, its either June 14 or 15 with Beyond the Flesh and Divinity Destroyed. That guy Rowan is doing it,so ask him about it if you talk to him. I don't know the exact details,i wish I had it in front of me, also, the last week of June, we're playing something called Snake Fest, it's in North Carolina, its some big fest with all these different metal bands from all over. And all that info's on the website.

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    Written By: Chris X