January 25, 2021 Beloved Enemy – Another Side (EP Review)
In 2007, Germany’s Beloved Enemy arose from the primordial ooze to deliver Enemy Mine, their epic debut disc. Blending Industrial, Metal, Gothic, and Rock, the band’s music, penned by Guitarist Peter Pathos, offered listeners a myriad of sounds that all played well together. Perhaps the key to the band’s success being the fact that this amiable commingling of genres worked particularly well when emanating from the deep bass of Vocalist Dead L-Vis, a vampiric Elvis with swagger and the oral talents to match.
The career that was born saw the quintet performing at European festivals such as Wave Gotik Treffen, Rock Harz, Wacken Rocks South, Magic Circle Festival, and Castle Rock. All of which helped to pave the way for the band’s 2011 sophomore LP, Thank You for the Pain. Ultimately, however, there would be a plot twist, and nearly seven years ago the Beloved Enemy camp fell silent.
Despite having big plans for 2020’s Castle Rock Festival and their subsequent comeback, a global pandemic had other plans. Despite this kink in their plans, the boys were no less determined to rock again. And so Beloved Enemy—Vocalist Andrew James (a.ka. Dead L-Vis), Guitarists Pathos and Chai Deveraux, Bassist Eddy, and Drummer Martin ‘Dog’ Kessler—is now gifting 2021 with their return. To cement the event, they are slated to release the aptly-titled Another Side EP, on Saturday, January 30th. The EP will be available for pre-order and purchase at Hellmotors.de.
Rising from the (un)dead, the quintet chooses to offer fans exactly what their title promises: an entirely new facet to their sonic personality. The 5-song acoustic EP features four reimaginings of previously released tracks (two each from Enemy Mine and Thank You for the Pain) and one completely new song, but presented in an ensemble format that is apt to win over new fans and whet the appetites of old-school die-hards.
To do this, they chose to cull a pair of favorites from their debut: “Virus Undead” and “The Other Side.” Reinterpreting the 2007 material, Pathos injects a beautiful Spanish flavor into the guitarwork on the former, which also appeared on the soundtrack for 2008’s zombie flick Virus Undead (which has also gone under the title Beast Within). Though, if you missed that film’s thrills, don’t fret: Dead L-Vis will send shivers down your spine with his vocals on “The Other Side,” an emotional offering with some edgier moments.
However, they choose to open the EP with “Die Alone,” which represents their sophomore LP. Building into a magical mood, the quintet toes the line into quasi-Neoclassical feels, minus the strings. With Dead L-Vis’ thick bass vocals steering the Goth-flavored lament for the end, it’s easy to draw corollaries between Beloved Enemy and their fellow Germans in the endlessly prolific Lord of the Lost.
Further into the EP, they return to the pain of the past with “Running Man,” where the mood grows a bit darker before they launch into full-bodied choruses that display their fabulous abilities. But they tease listeners by saving the newest track for last, and thus, they culminate with “Mother.” No, not the Danzig classic; instead it is a solemn ode to a mother from her son, and another moving moment in a collection that ends far too abruptly.
In fact, there’s nothing wrong with the Another Side EP, far from it, but the experience rolls by so fast, leaving the listener with a sense of longing. Clearly this is the band’s intention, and they’ve succeeded at whetting our appetites for more. Therefore, Cryptic Rock gives the Another Side EP 3.5 of 5 stars.