Review: Ayahuasca – Beneath The Mind

Metal combined with percussion, in my opinion almost always a mix with a good result. Am I talking about a new album by Sepultura? Soulfly? No, I don’t! This is Ayahuasca! This band, coming from Cologne, Germany, combines progressive death metal with world music and for sure this is their own style. In 2015, two years after their formation, they released their first demo, titled Instinct. On November 9th Ayahuasca’s full-length debut will be released. This full-length debut, which will be released via Kernkraftritter Records, carries the title Beneath the Mind. The line-up of Ayahuasca consists of quite a lot of members: vocalist Sliman Abu Sitta, guitarists Oliver “Mulfo” Hennicke, Eduardo “Eddy” Vizzarro and Kirill Gromada (who also does vocals), bass player Pablo Tapia, drummer Yannik “Bobo” Bremerich and percussionists Timmy Peligro and Julien “Bacon” Zeiler, who also does vocals.

With the jungle-like intro, including percussion, from opening track Instinct, Ayahuasca immediately brings you in the right mood for Beneath the Mind. They also end this very nice track with another nice jungle-like part, which sounds a bit more mysterious than the intro.

The second track on this album, Life Beneath the Mind, seems to be a pure experimental death metal track in the beginning. So, was Instinct more special than the remainder of this album? For sure not, because after two minutes into Life Beneath the Mind it seems to contain a lot more variation. Be sure to also check the great guitar solo in this track!

The entire album is like this. This album contains a gigantic amount of variation without sounding too overdone or forced. There are a lot heavy parts to be heard, even some blastbeat-parts, but also quite a few more quiet and melodic parts. Ayahuasca also shows that they are really good at switching between those parts. For example, they switch from a percussion-part to a more melodic part to a brutal death metal part pretty fast without making these transitions sounding forced. These flexible transitions as well as the huge amount of variation are what makes Beneath the Mind a very strong album.

Even with the shortest track on this album, Abyss, which has a length of 4 minutes and 8 seconds, Ayahuasca knows how to surprise with a very quiet, melodic part in between brutal death metal. The very nice, creepy sounding outro of Abyss is also worth mentioning for sure.

The percussion-parts on this album, just as the rest of the album, do sound very nice. It’s also very nice that there are a few moments that this percussion is combined with some very heavy metal-parts. A few examples of this are the end of Instinct or some parts in Cendres Et Ruines and Summoner of Storms. Cendres Et Ruines is probably one of the most heavy tracks on this album, which however has a very surprising, non-heavy, outro.

This entire album is very nice, but if I have to choose some personal favorites from Beneath the Mind, I would choose opener Instinct, Cendres Et Ruines, Cult, which starts with a very relaxing, acoustic intro, and the perfect closing track of a perfect album, Summoner of Storms.

Ayahuasca for sure delivers a phenomenal album with Beneath the Mind with a very big amount of variation, without it getting too much. This album is definitely recommended for everyone who loves to hear some variation in their metal. However, in my opinion, no one should miss this perfect album!

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