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Album Review: A Fire Before Him by Beyond Bethel

posted Jul 27, 2011, 2:13 PM by Sarah Brehm   [ updated Jul 27, 2011, 6:08 PM ]

Originally formed in 2003 by the brothers Jonathan (vocals), Joshua (guitar), and Joseph Bowden (guitar), Beyond Bethel has diligently spent the years developing their talent. In 2006, Hammy (formerly drummer, now keys) joined the band, and in 2009 Shawn Walker (drums) and Jd Cason (bass) completed the current line-up. They’ve been hard at work playing shows and spreading God through metal music. “In the Bible,” says Joshua, “Bethel means ‘House of God,’ so we feel that our mission is to take the gospel to the world beyond the church. Beyond Bethel says it’s their calling to reach those people would never step into a church. “He took my passion for metal music,” says Shawn, “and gave me the perfect opportunity to use it for Him.”Their debut album, A Fire Before Him was released this past June.


Track Listing:

1. A Fire Before Him

2. Look Away

3. Bring It Down

4. Day In Darkness

5. Sons of Thunder

6. Lose My Mind

7. Burning

8. Death, Hell and the Grave

9. Awake the Day

10. Enemy


The album kicks off with the title track “A Fire Before Him” which has a melodic intro that draws you and then blows you away with the powerful kick drum and an epic scream. It’s the favorite track for most of the band. “I believe the words came straight from God,” says Joshua, “and [it] has personally helped me through a trying time.”


“Look Away” has a combination of clean and screaming vocals. “Lyrically [this song] reminds us that the past does not own us if we belong to Christ,” explains Jonathan. “And through past addictions I personally had, I sing that song with power and redemption because I have been forgiven!” The clean vocals reminded me of Rob Beckley, front-man for the band Pillar, and I realized that Beyond Bethel is basically Pillar on steroids, cranked all the way up to 11.


“Bring it Down” is a mixture of fast metal with heavy rock and roll that utilizes screaming and clean vocals.


“In the darkness I see light,” sings Jonathan in “Day in Darkness,” a fast-paced, head-banging song about God being the light in the vast, unyielding darkness of evil.


The drum-work in “Sons of Thunder” is beyond impressive, with a kick drum that sounds almost too fast to be  possible. The guitars rock right with the drums. The entire album has a very tight sound that is on the same caliber as the Christian metal giant, Demon Hunter.


“Lose My Mind” is the album’s softest song (only clean vocals), but that doesn’t mean the intensity is gone. This would be the song that gets lighters (or cell phones) raised in the air at a show. “Lose my eyes so I can see. Lose my feet so I can be free. Lose my mind and reveal Your heart in me.” It’s a powerful song about getting rid of yourself and filling yourself with Christ. There’s also a pretty awesome guitar solo towards the end of the song.


“Burning” is a whole lot of heavy. And because of its metal intensity, it’s a favorite to play live.


“Death, Hell and the Grave” is another epically heavy metal song. “It’s just so fun to headbang with,” says Jonathan, “and to see all our fans sing it back to us is just epic!” The song explains that death, hell, and the grave don’t own us.


“Awake the Day” is perhaps my favorite track from the album. It has a great heavy rock sound that shows the musical diversity of Beyond Bethel.


With the track “Enemy,” A Fire Before Him ends just as strong as it started. Overall I really enjoyed this album and recommend it to any metal-head!

Words by: Sarah Brehm

Photos by: Loni Howard




Beyond Bethel Album trailer