BE’LAKOR – Of Breath and Bone
Label: Kolony Records
Release Date: June 1, 2012
For the last decade, the world has slowly experienced a deluge of Metal. In addition to its return to (relatively) mainstream popularity, Metal has also seen an explosion in sub-genres, comparable to no other genre in history. With such a sensory overload, the majority of metal bands bombard their listeners with all the subtlety and nuance of being beaten with an aluminum trash can lid. Amongst the cacophony it can be nearly impossible to distinguish oneself as something fresh and different. The great thing about Be’lakor is that they can do exactly that.
The Australian progressive melodic death metal emperors are back! Be’lakor’s new album Of Breath and Bone has managed to catch pretty much everyone’s eye. And this is not the first time; the band’s first two albums: The Frail Tide and Stone’s Reach made so many waves in the international scene that in no time, these guys were on the list of top melodic death metal bands along with giants like At The Gates, Arch Enemy, In Flames, etc.
The band consists of George Kosmas on vocals and guitars, Shaun Sykes on guitar, Jimmy Vanden Broeck on drums, Steven Merry on keyboard, and John Richardson on bass. The band knows exactly what has to be done to make a proper melodic death metal album. They prove their prowess on the album with the right mix of both melodic as well as extreme elements which never makes the album boring or monotonous even once despite the lengthy songs. Brutal vocals, unforgettable melodies, “headbangable” riffs, powerful bass lines and earth-shattering drumming gives rise to Of Breath and Bone! One of the important aspects of this wonderfully composed album is the creative work done by Steven Merry on keyboards. He plays a very important role throughout the album adding to the melancholic and depressive nature in many songs. The diversity in the songs is the trademark of the band; showing the band still has stuck to its roots. A great follow-up to Stone’s Reach; Of Breath and Bone is probably the best work by the band to-date.
Tracks like “Fraught”, “Abeyance”, “The Dream and the Waking” and “By Moon and Star” clearly show the extreme level of song writing, brilliantly arranged and structured which surely makes this album a true delight. The aggressiveness of George’s vocals accompanied with John’s insane bass guitar playing and Jimmy’s drumming balances the depth and melancholy of Shaun’s melodies and Steve’s morbid keyboards! Honestly there is no need to describe every song in particular, as each song stands by itself giving you a taste of emotional, humming melodic death metal.
The result is an album that feels much darker, with well written lyrics, whose machismo attitude permeates this album even more than the last. It’s very tough to find a single boring moment throughout the album, making this one of the best melodic death metal albums ever heard in 2012! The heavy and polished production only heightens the Godliness of this album; the credit for which goes to producer Jens Bogren (Kreator, Amon Amarth, Opeth). This is an album that you cannot get out of your mind. It’s truly a memorable album, one which would maybe inspire the masses of young metalheads in the future to pursue this style of heavy metal. A mandatory listen for all melodic death metal fans.