Dustin Behm has translated an unlimited amount of musical ideas through fingers to guitar with new release The Beyond. There’s no telling where his fretboard thoughts and fantasies will go, note to note, riff to riff, but he’s recorded 13 songs with insanely complex sound tapestries built to show what he’s capable of on the neck.
With solos and note clusters that sound perfectly laser cut with synthesizer’s and production adding haunting, cosmic elements to structures and atmosphere. It’s a collection of his own custom style eruptions, telling stories with dazzling layers and notes subbing for speed-read words.
Behm started at 13 with the screaming sounds of Dimebag, James Murphy and Joe Satriani, among others rattling his ear. A Musician’s Institute graduate, Behm learned from the greats turning knowledge and lessons into songs incorporating prog, thrash and blast beat like tapping. He immersed himself in the Portland, Oregon scene playing everything from symphonic to death metal, forming the instrumental band Increate. In spring 2017, he began writing The Beyond.
Behm’s a multi-instrument master playing guitar, E-Bow, bass, keys and programming. Along with being a one-man production engineer and graphic artist with the help of Mark Cooper.
Early Pestilence weaved an inspirational hand in the sound of The Beyond along with Meshuggah, Allan Holdsworth and Chris Poland. Vintage European horror movies also flung a few slashed bleeding limbs to song construction.
Behm’s taught guitar in Italy, currently writing the next Increate album and stunning eyes and ears on stages in the Northwest. He’s played with Amorphis, Dark Tranquility, Rhapsody of Fire and Oceano among others.
Behm has thoroughly stuck his hands and strings into the inner and outer depths of space and time, telling stories of creation, ancient aliens, the universe’s unknown mysteries and believably brings forward the question, can a guitar communicate with other worldly beings?
Wind howls on “Mechanization” starting the prog-tastic, thrashy, song and record’s machine-like tornado march. Cascading riffs soar over mountains, cranking, breaking through harmonic barriers with an old school frantic bassline. Computer’s speak through strings and programming in cybernetic whiplash fashion. Menace mixed and maced with robotic euphoria builds to industrialized peaks and crescendos.
Guitars growl with supernatural restraint and spectral illumination on the spirit-shaking “Poltergeist.” Specters dance and mosh on the frets as bass and drums beat slamming forward as keyboards emote an incoming spectral mist vibe. Haunting sounds mix with horror-like background with spastic and frantic corpse reanimating guitar tapping. Bullet speed bass and ballistic drums hammer in the nightmare like a head compression as keyboards act like creepy outreached fingers.
Raindrops dance on the shattered glass of “Alien Voodoo” as guitars sear off pieces of the cosmos. Extra Terrestrial communication done metal style. No words needed as the ancient one’s songs are heard and unknown technology spread dust and juju over the stars. Astral spirits call out representing a galactic presence with cosmic alarms going off.
“International Dimensional Traveler” starts with spacey tranquility with the fine china exploding via guitar neck. Drums pummel, fingers travel the realm breaking limits of what guitars can sound like as keys hit in acidic downpour. Alien murmurs and skeletal signals hint at possibilities of nonhuman space explorers. Guitars peak like ships going to warp as the planetary scale is demonstrated on strings as cosmic whispers make scientific needles spin and microphones hum.
“The Beyond” hints of a space age atrium, building a thrash foundation with guitar hysteria taking the ear to uncharted places. Notes progress traveling to unknown territory with curiosity and uncertainty. Mangling, mowing riffs crash over mystic waterfalls into a solid riff-laden basin.
Electric crickets and current travel down the fingers starting “Genesis” as the beginning of creation springs, growing into life. The voice of God, radiates through the strings creating vitality and perfection of a world left untouched by man, before the fall. The dazzling circulatory of ancient earth is rejuvenated.
“Rituals” pounds thrash from the start during a deep hypnotic celebration and spectacle. Guitars take a more deliberate path and pace. With background solo chants and fast paced intricate incantations. Guitars play with the separate spoken tongue, the spirit’s Ouija answer and the entity’s cold spot spell as the poltergeist’s rage is unleashed.
“Descent into the Unknown” sparks brain waves as sanity pours out of instruments, like a dirty drill in a desolated, unsanitary hospital. Notes spiral downward like old memories as darkness envelopes the mind, body, heart and psyche as electronics prickle the ear.
“Haunted Labyrinth” is angrier and more aggressive as countless corridors reveal surprises at every corner. Guitars chase your back like sirens as evil fairy tales and scary nursery rhymes come to life at every dead end. Ghoulish fiends down right mean, climb the walls, watching and hunting the lost and searching. Haunting spirits lay in wait to ambush the rapid beating heart and unsuspecting soul. Yells for help fall silent like a trapped race in a creaking, closing music box.
A planned delivery and methodology of notes starts “Last Resort.” Harder, stronger and harsher riffage, harmonizes inside thrash structure. Munching, chewing, gnarling guitars work with gnashing teeth like two plot lines simultaneously played back to back.
“Towers of Glass” is a fragile but beautiful reflective bouquet of trailing notes bluesy and artistic, like swimming memories and calming sounds. A frantic insane guitar pace isn’t always needed. Dreamy and a nice exit embrace to a record filled with adrenaline soaked warped playing.
Behm has created the audio play along companion that will inspire and influence kids to pick up and play for years to come.
Feature image: Sleeper Studios