The Beyond

The Beyond
Left to right— John Whitby (vocals), Jim Kersey (bass), Andy Gatford (guitar), Neil Cooper (drums)

The Beyond
from Derby, England. 1988—1994.
Members: John Whitby (vocals), Neil Cooper (drums), Andy Gatford (guitar) and Jim Kersey (bass)

The Beyond formed as a thrash metal band in 1988. From very early on, more left field musical influences emerged in their song writing and made them difficult to specifically categorise. The band kept the energy and intensity of thrash metal whilst introducing techno rhythms, jazz influences and socially aware lyrics.

“Every now and then a young band comes along with a demo that literally restores my faith in the British metal scene”
Metal Forces magazine – demo review (1989)


1990 saw the release of their first EP ‘Manic Sound Panic’ followed by the single ‘No Excuse’ (which included a live cover of Dead Kennedys‘ “California Über Alles“). The band toured the UK extensively throughout 1990 playing headline shows. At this time alternative rockers ‘Therapy?’ supported the band, playing their first mainland UK shows. The Beyond also played support slots with Acid Reign, Claytown Troupe and Xentrix.  

“The Beyond are blessed with the rarest of all attributes, that of uniqueness… The Beyond may prove to be the new messiahs”
Kerrang magazine – live review

“The Beyond are awesome, at times terrifying and even entrancing. They are, you see, disturbingly good”
Raw magazine – live review


Crawl (album)

The Beyond signed to EMI records and in 1991 released the album ‘Crawl’ through EMI’s Harvest label (best known for the progressive attitude of the label’s previous artists – Pink Floyd etc). Throughout 1991 the band toured heavily playing many shows in the UK, Europe and the US. Their explosive headline shows led to support slots with Soundgarden, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Living Colour.

“ ‘Crawl’, even at its most difficult, is a relentlessly fascinating album. Where The Beyond are now was completely unforeseeable, where they go from here is utterly unimaginable.”
Melody Maker – album review

The album included the singles ‘One Step Too Far’, ‘Empire’ and ‘The Raging E.P.’.

‘One Step Too Far’ single

“We really like The Beyond but they are undoubtedly one of the strangest bands this country as ever produced. Supposedly metal, listening to ‘One Step Too Far’ one gets the impression that their combined record collections consist solely of the first Gang of Four album, the entire Metallica back catalogue and ‘The Unlistenable John Coltrane – vol 4’ ”
Melody Maker – Single of the Week

‘Empire’ single

“One of the most innovative young British rock bands around. The Beyond fuse jazz, thrash and funk into a brilliantly-crafted number”
Raw magazine – Single of the Week

“The Beyond are the future of British rock”
Kerrang magazine – single review

Around this time the band asked industrial music pioneer J. G. Thirlwell aka Foetus to remix ‘One Step Too Far’ and ‘Empire’ with stunning results. The remixes led to the band’s choice of producer for their second album.

Following headline shows in the US, ‘Crawl’ was released in the US and Japan.


Chasm (album)

In 1992 The Beyond recorded their second album ‘Chasm’ in Brooklyn, New York with J. G. Thirlwell aka Foetus on production duties. The album was a much darker and less jazzy album than its predecessor, ‘Crawl’.

The album was released in 1993.


“A band that almost everyone agrees will one day be huge. Listening to ‘Chasm’ isn’t simply an unparalleled pleasure, it’s an artistic duty”
Melody Maker – album review

“Stunning in its forcefulness as well as being highly individual and creative. If The Beyond were American they’d be massive.”
Metal CD magazine – album review

Metal Hammer 2016

The 10 greatest obscure metal bands from the 1990s who should have been huge
by Dom Lawson

The Beyond

Emerging from the intermittently exciting funk metal scene of the late 80s, The Beyond sounded utterly unique: the grooves of their goofy peers filtered through the refined rock textures of Rush and dowsed with laudable British eccentricity. Debut album Crawl bulges with stunning songs and sounds wholly fresh today – despite a snare sound that sounds like a Tupperware pot being thwacked with a wooden spoon – and drummer Neil Cooper (now with Therapy?) is an undeniable, subtly funky force of nature throughout. The follow-up, Chasm, was equally great. What a band.

After The Beyond…

In the immediate aftermath, The Beyond decomposed, and Gorilla was risen. With the addition of David Petty on bass and Andy Linguard on violin, they continued with the more polished sound of ‘Chasm’, releasing a handful of EPs and singles, leaving an unreleased mini EP on CD-Rs…

Drummer Neil Cooper is now a member of alternative rock band ‘Therapy?’ and played in the original line up of Derby indie noise mongers ‘Cable’.

Singer John Whitby was elected a Labour councillor for Derby City Council in 2010 and was given the honour of becoming the mayor of Derby through 2017-2018.