A well-known face in the metal circuit, having been part of multiple bands such as Dead Exaltation, KillKount, Adamantium and Schwa, Mradul Singhal is a name to remember. ‘Beyond: Life’ is his posthumous debut solo album which was recorded a year prior to his tragic demise in March 2020. A combined effort of Mradul with Brazilian bass magician, Samuel Chacon, who is featured as a guest artist on the album, ‘Beyond: Life’ is a truly a journey in itself. Samuel is also the mixing engineer for the album. Mradul’s girlfriend Swagata Khargharia and his bandmates left no stone unturned and ensured that his album was released and promoted across all channels.
Beyond: Life is an album that is reflective, introspective and very closely associated with nature and its elements. This album is also a departure from his metal background. The lyrics of this entire album are full of references to nature and its healing touch. With this album, Mradul has tried to highlight what life and its various facets mean to him. Through the lyrics, he dives deep into the essence and meaning of our lives on this planet. The music is inspired by nature and its beauty and sounds that are omnipresent. The entire album almost has a trance like vibe to it. The music is ambient, simple strumming of the acoustic guitar is blended well with deep bass sounds. The entire experience of listening to the album is almost psychedelic. One can just imagine the bliss of listening to this track, on a rainy day with a hot cup of tea or coffee. It’s almost as if time stops and a wave of relaxation sweeps over the listener.
The first track is titled ‘A Present From The Past’. The chorus of the track is quite catchy, and the lyrics (accompanying poetry) talk about hope, acceptance and the gift of life. The sentence “Beyond Life, is where my music lies” is quite striking and beautifully put. The second track ‘Leaves of Life’ delves into the deeper meaning of life. ‘Sentience’ talks about the artist’s own perception and feelings about life. “I hurt, I suffer, I enjoy, I repose what you send me” seems to be about how the artist reflects upon his life and the kind of response he has to the various situations of life. The outro of this track is quite pleasing, with a smooth guitar melody.
‘Labyrinth’ is a personal favorite. The first line “Entangled thoughts in a shimmering mind, find solace of a different kind” aptly describes the nature of the mind. The intro tune is quite comforting, with a soft guitar riff that plays in the mind repeatedly. Labyrinth or a maze, can be the maze of life, through which we all have to navigate. There is also a subtle melancholic bass sound throughout the track which is captivating. One can instantly find themselves humming this tune.
The track “Oceans and Woods” lyrically is quite descriptive. “Footprints on the shore, live short but stay more” is a message to all of us, saying that we should live our lives for a greater cause and not for greater years. References to woods, leaves and elements of nature are pervasive in this track, and these have been used to describe life as well. “Life’s wave erase distant memories. Oceans and Woods. Retain a song. Remain a tune. Become a story.” This is a clear message by Mradul for all of us to live our lives to the fullest. The bridge section of the track is quite appeasing.
“Symphony of Stars” reminds you of a starry night, lying on the grass just admiring the beauty of nature. “Though we are, just a speck of dust often mistaken for a star, only my music, my musicality helped me define who we really are.” This elicits how music can help define our true identity and existence. The harmonic electric guitar tune in the outro gives the ultimate closure to the album that it required.
With this album, Mradul has given us the best gift, the gift of love, nature and music which never perishes and will always remain in our hearts.