One Step Beyond

Picture of One Step Beyond

One Step Beyond

One Step Beyond - One Step Beyond ©2000 Self-Released
1. Tiny Seconds
2. Thorn In My Side
3. Falling
4. What's Real (and What I Feel)
5. Reflect
6. Exposed
7. Rising Above
8. Wasted
9. Future Politician
10. Having It All
11. I Will Survive
12. I.W.S. (radio Edit)

Sporting an album cover that rivals Rush's Caress of Steel for drabness (apparently the fault lies with the CD manufacturing company here), New York's One Step Beyond's debut CD is a middle of the road, rather pedestrian affair that has suggestions of some serious potential but overall tends to linger in limbo for me. I've had this CD lying around for awhile but it's the kind of thing that never quite demands repeat listens for me. To set the stage, One Step Beyond is a four piece outfit that is playing a style that offers very strong, vibrating female vocals courtesy of Susan Wendelken over thick, metal riffing with a hint of blues. This is definitely heavy and you cannot deny these four folks are extremely talented, yet there seems to be something missing on this self titled affair. At times Wendelken seems to be pushing her vocals too hard for the pissed off effect. Mind you, she's not growling and screeching at all. Rather, her singing just comes across as a bit too burly for my personal liking. Meanwhile, the band behind her goes about their business in laying down heavy music, but it lacks flair. Enthusiastic, to be sure, but it doesn't have a spark for me. There is also a cover of "I Will Survive", but frankly, Cake's dry and dorky cover is still the supreme cover of that song.

On the flipside, those who do like solid female vocals as well as melodic, crunchy heavy music may find One Step Beyond to their liking. This just tends to remind me of bar rock and I'm not crazy about that at all. However, those who do like heavy rock or melodic metal with the feel of Doro Pesch's heavier moments may do well in checking this band out. There certainly is the potential for them to become a devastating outfit.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 04/2001

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