Beyond The Black
About Beyond The Black
German symphonic metal band Beyond the Black, fronted by a former girl-group singer, ply an epic, pop-oriented brand of metal, hitting the Top Five on the national charts with their 2016 album Lost in Forever and 2018's Heart of the Hurricane.
The band was formed in 2014 in the city of Mannheim, in southwest Germany, by guitarists Nils Lesser and Christopher Hummels, keyboardist Michael Hauser, bassist Erwin Schmidt, and drummer Tobias Derer. Having written a bunch of material, they were in search of a singer when they hit upon Jennifer Haben. Haben had won the kids' TV channel talent contest Beste Stimme Gesucht ("Best Voice Wanted") in 2007 when she was just 11 years old and had sung in the girl group Saphir, which was formed by four winners of the show. The group released a self-titled album through Universal in 2010, but after it charted at only number 44, her planned solo album was canceled by the label and her career fizzled out. However, her smooth, powerful voice was exactly what the band was looking for, as it perfectly suited their melodic, pop-oriented brand of metal. Their debut album, Songs of Love and Death, was produced by power metal supremo Sascha Paeth; released in February 2015 on Universal-distributed indie Airforce1, it entered the German album chart at number 12, helped by Haben's name recognition and the band's high-profile debut gig at the huge Wacken metal festival.
Haben contributed heavily to the songwriting on the follow-up, Lost in Forever, which was largely written while on tour and rush-released less than a year after their debut. The album charted at number four, but shortly following its release, all the male members of the band quit, citing promotional pressure. Splitting amicably with Haben, they allowed her to retain the rights to the name, and she set about auditioning for a new lineup, eventually settling on Chris Hermsdörfer and Tobi Lodes (guitars), Jonas Roßner (keyboards), Stefan Herkenhoff (bass), and Kai Tschierschky (drums). The new iteration of the band toured for much of 2017, and recorded bonus tracks for a special edition of Lost in Forever before settling down to writing sessions for their third album. Heart of the Hurricane was released on Napalm Records in 2018, hitting number five on the German album chart; Roßner appears on the album, but quit the band prior to its release. ~ John D. Buchanan