Despite all the evolution that the death metal genre has gone through since its inception, sometimes old school death metal is the way to go. Micawber are a death metal band from Wisconsin who combine old school death metal with some newer aspects to create a solid slab of extreme music. “Full Denim Jacket” is a short opening track, and sets the stage for the style of music. The production is pretty good and fits the music, and the guitar tone and writing is worth mentioning, especially the old school style solo. Up next is the title track, “Beyond the Reach of Flame, which slows the pace down a bit with a nice riff. The tone here is noticeably darker, and the slow pace gives the song room to breathe. The track speeds up during the second half, and includes another nice solo. “The Starless Sky” has a very heavy intro, and a very nice vocal performance. There’s some slight thrash influence which fits very well, and a nice solo towards the end.
“Icon of Extinction” opens heavy, and is a very heavy and slow placed track. There’s some nice melodic death influence, especially from the solo towards the end. Up next is “King of Ash” which opens with a really nice riff. This is easily one of the highlight tracks on this album, and one that definitely stands out on an already high level album. The riffs on this song are great, and the two halves are both different but fit very well. “In Shadow and Light” is a very energetic track that has plenty of variation on the writing, and solid performances from everyone. There’s a nice chuggy riff on here, and another great old school solo.
“Funeral March” is another fast and heavy track that continues the trend of solid riffs and tight writing. While the song doesn’t do a whole lot to stand out, it’s still another solid effort. The album ends on “The Currents of Causality”, which is a track of two halves. The first is a big rough, and drags a bit by not doing anything truly unique. The second half though, is much better. The lead guitar, influenced greatly by melo-death really takes this song in a better direction that makes this a good way to end this album. This is a very good album. While there is a couple songs that don’t quite live up the majority of this album, there’s plenty on here to enjoy, and this album should not be missed.
Overall Score: 8.5/10
Review by Sam Hookom