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Discussion in 'Kolony Records' started by lorenzo_kolony, Mar 13, 2012.
Let's list all reviews / press quotes / interviews in this thread!
Metal.de talks about 'Of Breath & Bone' by BE'LAKOR as 'the most important Melodeath album of 2012' already!
The first song off BE'LAKOR's forthcoming new album 'Of Breath and Bone' is finally available! This is track two, entitled 'Remnants'. Enjoy!
Metalsucks.net talking about BE'LAKOR!
"Be’lakor, the Australian band that Axl called “the best unsigned band in metal” way back in 2007, have finally been called up to the big leagues; fresh on the heels of a new deal with Kolony Records, Be’lakor will release Of Breath and Bone on June 1st worldwide.
Based on the song “Remnants” the band just released, which you can stream below, June 1st can’t come soon enough! To quote Axl, Be’lakor specialize “in the same kind of doomy, prog-infused melodic death metal as acts like Insomnium, Agalloch and Daylight Dies,” and “Remnants” shows that they’re stepping it up to the next level with even more epic, grandiose production, songwriting and arrangements. Can’t wait for this record to drop." [Vince Neilstein]
The first pre-order possibility now available:
"We ship worldwide!"
New interview with keyboardist Steve Merry online @ Metalstorm.net!
French fans don't miss interviews with BE'LAKOR on the current issue (#71) of Metallian Magazine!
For further info:
German fans check out interview with BE'LAKOR + review of 'Of Breath and Bone' (13 out of 15) of on the current issue of Legacy Magazin (#78)!
For further info:
'Of Breath and Bone' reviewed @ Nocleansinging Webzine!
"Belakor have become, it seems to me, immune to criticism in the underground press. I say this to let you know that this isnt going to be a fawning, sycophantic review of the bands latest album; I have tried my very best to stay impartial, even though the temptation was to simply love this album merely for its existence. That being said, while I have no major criticisms of the record (and have fallen head over heels in love with some of the tracks), I have come out of the experience with a few concerns preying on my mind.
Lets get one thing straight first though, youve probably already formed your opinions that this is going to be good hell, Id wager that most people formed their opinion about the album without even hearing a single note but the question is, how good?
To get the obvious comparisons out of the way, neither as heart-wrenchingly melancholic as recent Insomnium, nor as shamelessly audacious as latter-day Omnium Gatherum, the main criticism I can level at Of Breath and Bone is that while it is characteristically and distinctively a Belakor album (falling ultimately somewhere between The Frail Tide and Stones Reach), there is a certain spark missing from a few of the tracks, which impacts the experience of the record as a whole.
More restrained and perhaps a more consciously considered record than its predecessor, this factor is both a blessing and a curse for the band. It allows their multi-layered melodies room to breathe and expand, but softens the impact of some of their more fiery moments. At their most epic and nuanced, this restraint works wonders, allowing the band to express their melodic palette fully, yet at their most aggressive this often serves, paradoxically, to limit their full expression. Fundamentally the album is very much a companion piece to Stones Reach, introverted where that album was extroverted, restrained where it was unfettered.
Abeyance brings all the familiar Belakor elements to the table, yet something about it leaves me feeling vaguely unsatisfied. The rolling gait of the guitars has an Amon Amarth-esque feel, though more artfully layered and with less overt aggression. Part way through, the track takes a sudden shift into sharper, more melodically-edged riffage which drives up both the tempo and intensity in a welcome fashion, but naggingly it is precisely the same trick they employed on Venator, the fantastic opener from Stones Reach. This sums up the dilemma contained herein everything is brilliantly executed, yet simultaneously predictable. Thankfully, this is definitely the weakest track on the record.
Also thankfully, from its sublime, star-crossed opening bars, Remnants is a killer track, and gets the record fully into gear. Placing a greater focus on spiraling twin guitar harmonies and the complex interplay of lead refrains and galloping riffs, the track continues the general Dark Tranquillity vibe of the record, marrying the slightly folky tones of that bands early period with the precise, cut-glass melody of their more recent years. The drums clatter and crash almost chaotically at times, adding interesting textures and a rough counterpoint to the grandiose guitar melodies. Marrying both heaving force with the sort of incisive guitar melody that makes melodic death metal such a captivating experience, the track serves as a master class in how to bottle lightning in metallic form.
Fraught is another good track, but suffers slightly from a sense of over-familiarity and a feeling that the focus on guitar-led melody (impressive though it is) has come at the detriment to the overall integrity of the track. Winding their way through the mist and smoke, it is not until several minutes in that the riffs coalesce into something equally as impressive and captivating as the varied leads that precede them. It perhaps doesnt help matters that Belakor vocalist George Kosmas bears a striking resemblance to Omnium Gatherums Jukka Pelkonen both in his vocal patterns and his growled delivery. It draws a line between the two that promotes unfair comparisons, particularly as the Finns have a more emphatic, riff-friendly approach which allows for more instantaneous gratification than the layered tapestry of melody and melancholy presented here by Belakor.
Things definitely pick up after track 4 though, as Absit Omen draws from the same underlying source of pain and passion as Daylight Dies; its more restrained melancholia makes the track stand somewhat apart from its brethren. Although it has its moments of pounding drumming and some breath-taking riffs, it breathes sorrow, its admirable restraint from the shimmering, floating chords, to the breathy, rasped vocals absolutely heart-breaking in their subdued intensity. Shades of Agalloch float languidly down this river of tears, arch, progressive influences cresting the surface before sinking back down into the depths. This is perhaps the most different track on the record, not because it brings up entirely new elements, but more because it places its focus far more strongly on elements that have, til now, been rather more peripheral to Belakors sound.
To Stir The Sea is a disarming folk-led instrumental that continues the Agalloch comparisons, though more redolent of The White EP than of Marrow Of The Spirit. Its soothing acoustics draw a line after the records first half and prime the listener for the more coherent and more forceful second half, where the albums full potential is realised with a perfect mix of indomitable potency and progressive intent.
The stunning In Parting crackles with electricity, brimming with soaring lead refrains and prominent, dancing piano parts, while the vocals are delivered with a more striking, vicious tone not threatening, but primal and powerful. The tracks ambitious, epic arrangement carries the listener through several movements, taking them on a journey of dream-like piano work and crashing waves of oceanic guitar chords that rise and fall like the tides. Agile tremolo parts flit between the swirling lead guitars, while the drums (so often overlooked) cleverly switch up the style and change the beat at unexpected times to shift and manipulate the character of the song. Its staccato, piano-inflected interlude is a brilliant move, leading into the tracks brooding acoustic bridge, after which the band pour on the pressure, ending on a distinctly heavy, pounding note.
The Dream and Waking is an impressively focused number, vibrant and energetic and graced with an overpowering vocal performance which was absent, to a greater or lesser degree, from the albums opening tracks. The thunder of the kick drums provides an unshakeable foundation for the fluid lead work and emotive piano to build on, and when the track slows down, huge chords fill the gap perfectly with their ringing, majestic tone. Curving like a river carving through a barren landscape, the track plays clever tricks on the listener, fracturing a single repeating riff into multiple forms, often with only the slightest change in drumming or picking pattern, only to embrace them with a warm series of calm, acoustic interludes, climaxing in a death metal fueled conflagration.
Though the album may have started on a weak note, it ends on one of its strongest, as By Moon and Star is amongst the most impressive, colossal tracks on the record. Shining synths and ringing bass notes introduce the track, full of dramatic promise. The multi-layered vocals bleed with passion and integrity, while the riffs bristle with barely contained force, crunchier and more metalically inclined than any other track on the album. The drums rain down hammer blows of elemental force, and the unexpected yet ferocious blast beats unveiled about 3 minutes in are a welcome surprise. Like some imprisoned titan, the track groans with the weight of riffs contained within, with only a lengthy and intricately layered acoustic interlude providing any calm amidst the raging storm.
This is a damn good album, through and through. The only concerns I have are that it feels a few steps short of the top of the mountain, it feels as though it could have done more. When it does commit to its heavier side, its undeniably and irresistibly powerful, but its the more subtle and progressive aspects of its character that get the best treatment here, occasionally to the detriment of the albums overall impact.
Ultimately Of Breath and Bone treads a difficult line. There are clear touches of experimentation and progression present, but these are mixed in with some often over-familiar elements and arrangements. Not a step up from Stones Reach, it is instead a clear twin to that record, different, yet the same personal preference here will be the deciding factor overall, as to whether this takes the place of its predecessor in your affections, or simply stands along with it, impressive in its own right, yet always in the shadow of its more celebrated older brother.
Perhaps its actually quite appropriate that, for a style based around sorrow and regret, I am ultimately left with a wistful longing for what could have been." [Andy Sinn]
Ehy guys pick up your phones, download the latest issue of Nachtplan Magazine and check the QR codes inside to listen to BE'LAKOR music on your mobile!
New review of BE'LAKOR's 'Of Breath and Bone' online @ Midwinterfires.com Webzine - rating is 8/10!
"BeLakor. You see the name, you hear the sound and you think These guys are surely fierce and majestic north European vikings. And after a brief research, that brings up pics, nationality and the meaning of their monicker, you find out youre so wrong it hurts. Why? Because BeLakor is a five piece from Australia and looks like a bunch of easy going, regular and nerdy people. Theyre not named after some Scandinavian pantheon god or goddess, no. Or better, to be honest they ARE named after a god, but this one is from a tabletop game, Warhammer. Its cool, isnt it? Leaving my personal considerations behind (cause this review could really turn into a nerdstorm), BeLakor are as young as talented. I heard a lot of good things about their last release Stones Reach, and Im really glad I had the chance to speak my mind about their new effort, Of Breath and Bone.
Were dealing here with a band that plays a particular kind of melodeath the one with the melancholic, gloomy vibe to it. Abeyance clearly declares their love for the early days of In Flames, and has a fair amount of riffs and ideas that pay tribute to an evergreen like Whoracle. But its evidence that theres a distance between their sound and the one Anders Fridén and friends had. The first names that come in mind listening to this are in fact Insomnium (theres a really huge resemblance), Swallow The Sun (even if theres no down tempo here) and Novembers Doom (maybe the growl). Im not trying to say this combo have no personality, that would be an irritating showing off of ignorance and arrogance: its more like they took good ingredients, mixed them up and obtained a tasty recipe. Their music is very riff oriented, there is a lot of creativity when it comes to this in the album; guitars are really, really dynamic and they do most of the job. Anyway, its not this alone the reason why I find it a well made product, also the rhythm section and the voice are very valid. The growling is deep and full of grief, bass and drums are creative and there are some keyboard parts that contribute in the process of creating such an amazing, sad and dark atmosphere. But its not always about how this life feels bad in here: there are also moments of sunshine-like hope, as in Remnants, that features a very light-hearted guitar phrasing or To Stear The Sea, an acoustic interlude made of emotional cleans and arpeggios. The only complaint someone could possibly have with Of Breath and Bone is that it owns very determinate coordinates, and rarely tries something different, but its what has to be expected from this genre and also the guys have been so clever to not exaggerate the length of their work - we have only 8 tracks for an acceptable overall running time.
In conclusion, this album its a must-listen for all the fans of the bands I mentioned earlier in this article. It really has a great impact, its heavy, melodic, atmospheric, epic and absolutely worthy. Also, I almost forgot to add that the artwork its sweet (its made by Costin Chioreanu, the person guilty for some really interesting arts for bands like Ava Inferi, Mayhem and Aura Noir) and the production its classy (but how could we expect less from Jens Bogren, who mixed stuff for gentlemen like Opeth, Paradise Lost and Amon Amarth?). Go grab a copy of this next June, when itll be available."
Another review (80/100) of the new BE'LAKOR's album - this time from Greece's Rockoverdose Webzine!
"Μετά από το από κάθε άποψη θεσπέσιο προ τριετίας Stones Reach, οι ταχύτατα ανερχόμενοι στο χώρο του μελωδικού και πολύτροπου, πολυσχιδούς, ατμοσφαιρικού death metal Αυστραλοί επανέρχονται, με ένα ακόμα μαύρο διαμαντάκι να προστίθεται στην εντυπωσιακή δισκογραφία της βραχύβιας καριέρας της μπάντας. Τα όνομα αυτού, Of Breath and Bone.
Για όσους από εσάς γνωρίζουν τους ΒELAKOR, ο ήχος τους δεν υφίσταται σημαντικές μετατροπές. Και το καινούριο, τρίτο studio album τους δεν έχει να προσφέρει πολλά νέα στοιχεία στο ήδη διαμορφωμένο στυλ τους, το οποίο παρεπιπτόντως απέχει έτη φωτός από τα κλισέ της σκηνής. Εγκεφαλικά ενορχηστρωμένες συνθέσεις, με πολλά τερτίπια που πλουτίζουν το σκηνικό που δημιουργεί το Of Breath and Bone με εκφραστικά ηχοχρώματα, μελαγχολικές μελωδίες, riffs που αγγίζουν ευαίσθητες χορδές και ταξιδεύουν με doom υπόστρωμα και goth αισθητική, από την πίκρα της απόρριψης μέχρι την οργή.
Η εντυπωσιακή πολυμορφία, ανέκαθεν χαρακτηριστικό των BELAKOR, δίνει το παρόν και εδώ, χωρίς να χτυπάει ταβάνι όπως στο αξεπέραστο Stones Reach, καθιστώντας όμως τους Αυστραλούς μια από τις μπάντες-σήματα κατατεθέντα της παγκόσμιας melodeath σκηνής.
Οι soft ακουστικές στιγμές («To Stir The Sea»-πανέμορφο ιντερλούδιο λειτουργούν συμπληρωματικά μαζί με τα πλήκτρα και δημιουργούν την τέλεια αντίθεση με τα brutal σημεία («In Parting» το τέλειο παράδειγμα. Το σύνολο δεν είναι ανώτερο από τον προκάτοχό του, αλλά πιάνει κορυφή εύκολα, όσον αφορά την ποιότητά του, την ανόθευτη συναισθηματικότητά του, την επιβλητικότητά του και αφήνει μίλια πίσω του τις melodic death μετριότητες που υποτίθεται ότι παίζουν μπάλα στην ίδια κατηγορία μαζί του.
Ο νέος δίσκος των BELAKOR αποτελεί υποχρεωτικό άκουσμα για τους φίλους του ήχου και άκουσμα που. Για όσους συνήθως δεν δίνουν καν βάση στις melodic death metal κριτικές, δε μπορώ να τονίσω με αρκετό στόμφο τι χάνουν αν δεν έρθουν σε επαφή μαζί τους πάραυτα." [Μάριος Πιτσαλίδης]
New review of 'Breath and Bone' online by Italian webzine Metal of Death, rating is 84/100!
"Oh, finalmente ho tra le mani un disco molto particolare: bello, libero, aperto e sentito.
I Be'lakor sono una di quelle band che non ti aspetteresti mai di sentire, dopo vari dischi usciti negli ultimi mesi che, onestamente, mi hanno fatto scendere al quinto piano sotterraneo i miei testicoli.
Già, qui la professionalità, creatività e sentimento vanno di pari passo e si parla di una band di 5 ragazzi giovanissimi provenienti dall'Australia, giunti al loro terzo lavoro, un album coi controcazzi. Of Breath Of Bone si presenta molto bene sia a livello di grafica, di produzione e di qualità musicale. Qui le influenze della scena svedese son ben evidenti, ma la cosa più inusuale è la scelta di dedicarsi al Death Melodico più moderno, messo assieme al Dark Metal/Rock dei Katatonia di Brave Murder Day e, ovviamente, Opeth.
Ma questa non vuole essere una band clone, tanto meno della peggior specie, pare esserci dell'ambizione, della sincera benevolenza verso quello che fanno, basti pensare che hanno impiegato 3 anni di fatica per lavorare a questo album, quindi abbiamo tutte le premesse in conto che la si può segnalare come una bella sorpresa, come un auspicio per della musica di qualità vera, visto e considerato che chi si e' rifatto (in sedi separate, se avete notato) al Death svedese e al Dark Rock si è sempre perso nel pessimo scimmiottamento senz'anima propria, se non quella da fan.
Ovvio, non voglio parlare dei Be'lakor come la rivelazione dell'anno, ci mancherebbe, ma come una piacevole sorpresa, che una volta tanto ti fa pensare che non tutto quello che esce demotiva la mia voglia di ascoltare promo.
Promossi a pieni voti, d'altronde non sono nuovo nel promuovere la tanto sottovalutata/ignorata scena australiana.
Another amazing review of 'Of Breath and Bone' coming in! 9,5/10 by German webzine The-Pit.de!
"Es war der Samstagmorgen 11:00 Uhr, auf dem Summer Breeze Open Air 2010. Eine ungeliebte Uhrzeit bei jedem Festivalbesucher, trotzdem hatte sich vor der Painstage eine ordentliche Anzahl von Frühaufstehern gesammelt und beobachtete einen der ersten Europa-Auftritte einer jungen Combo aus Australien, die sich hier aus dem Stehgreif den Status eines Genre-Geheimtipps erarbeitete. Diese junge Combo waren Be'Lakor. Damals in Europa noch gänzlich unbekannt, hat sich das Quintett aus Melbourne inzwischen innerhalb der Melodic-Death-Szene einen Namen gemacht. Nun, zwei Jahre später, veröffentlichen die Australier mit Of Breath And Bone bereits ihr drittes Album. Die große Frage ist nun: Schaffen sie es den Hype, der zumindest innerhalb der Szene um sie gemacht wurde, mit diesem neuen Release zu rechtfertigen?
Musikalisch sind sich Be'Lakor auf dem neuen Longplayer in jedem Fall treu geblieben. Das Hauptaugenmerk des Fünfers liegt noch immer auf der guten alten Göteborger-Schule. Mal tendieren sie dabei mehr in Richtung alter In Flames oder Dark Tranquillity, an anderen Stellen kommt auch deutlich der Einfluss jüngerer Vertreter des Genres wie zum Beispiel Insomnium durch. In der Form ist das natürlich noch nichts Weltbewegendes, schließlich gibt es nicht wenige Bands, die sich im Bereich Melodic Death Metal tummeln. Was Be'Lakor jedoch von der Masse abhebt ist ein weiterer Einfluss, den sie ihrem Sound hinzugefügt haben. Pate für diesen standen dabei deutlich hörbar Opeth, was sich vor allem in den komplexen Strukturen der Songs und in den dunklen Growls von Frontmann George Kosmas widerspiegelt.
Los geht es allerdings erst einmal mit einem klassischen Melodic-Death-Riff, das den ersten Song Abeyance eröffnet. Altbekannte Pfade verlassen die Australier dann aber schnell wieder, indem sie den druckvollen Anfang durch einen getragenen Akustik-Part aufbrechen, nur um den Song danach erneut in einem melodischen Feuerwerk aufgehen zu lassen. Hier duellieren sich dann geniale, melodische Gitarren-Riffs mit den dunklen Growls von George Kosmas und so schafft es das Quintett direkt mit dem Opener den Hörer zu fesseln. Auch der zweite Song Remnants bewegt sich in ähnlichen Gefilden, bevor Be'Lakor mit den folgenden Fraught und Absit Omen das Tempo drosseln und mehr auf Groove und epische Melodien setzen. Wirklich erstaunlich ist dabei allerdings, dass die Australier es strikt vermeiden ausgetretenen Strophe-Refrain-Mustern zu folgen, der Hörer aber trotzdem nie das Gefühl hat, den roten Faden in den Songs zu verlieren.
Das alles war jedoch erst der Anfang. Nach dem kurzen Akustik-Stück To Stir The Sea legt das Quintett nämlich erst richtig los. In diesem zweiten Teil des Albums reißen alle Songs locker die Neun-Minuten-Marke und strotzen dabei nur so vor genialen Melodien. Den Höhepunkt bildet dabei ganz klar das finale By Moon And Star. Angeführt von der über die ganze Album-Distanz herausragend agierenden Gitarrenfront um Kosmas und Shaun Sykes, erschaffen Be'Lakor hier ein Epos, dessen Melodien sich kaum mehr aus dem Gehörgang vertreiben lassen.
Und so findet man sich am Ende der 54 Minuten Spielzeit fast ein wenig überwältigt vor dem CD-Player wieder. Of Breath And Bone bietet nämlich nahezu keine Kritikpunkte. Technisch sind die Musiker über jeden Zweifel erhaben, hinzu kommt ein geniales Songwriting und eine Produktion, die sich vor keiner der Genre-Größen verstecken muss. Ein winziger Kritikpunkt lässt sich eventuell im Gesang ausmachen, der zwar sehr gut umgesetzt ist, auf die Dauer des Albums wirken die ausschließlich eingesetzten Growls allerdings etwas monoton.
Trotzdem ist Be'Lakor hier ein erstklassiger Release gelungen. Nicht nur erfüllt Of Breath And Bone die hohen Erwartungen, es übertrifft auch noch das wirklich starke Vorgängeralbum Stone's Reach. Zusätzlich liefern die Australier den Beweis, dass man auch im Jahre 2012 noch ein Melodic-Death-Metal-Album abliefern kann, das nicht den ausgetreten Genre-Pfaden folgt. Daher eine ganz klare Kaufempfehlung für alle Genre-Fans und auch Neueinsteiger, besser hat man Melodic Death Metal in diesem Jahr noch nicht serviert bekommen!" [Tobias Dahs]
New review online @ Absolute Zero Media!
"Melodic or Swedish Death metal going on I swear if you mix Katatonia, Edge of Sanity and Dark Tranquility all into on force you would have Belakor all wrapped up into a perfect bow. The odd time changes the hints of Goth and Doom metal all mixed in to a Catchy as all hell Twin Melodic Death metal assault. The vocals are Straight out of Dan Swano's Death growls and the music is so Katatonia at time it almost hurts. I could hear a made like this all over Century Media or Listenable records all day long. Some of the songs from Belakor could be full extreme metal anthems. They add that old Ride the lighting Metallica guitar sound from time to time as well. So there love of Thrash is fully in tow as well. Belakor are a band not to miss.." [The Doorway]
'Of Breath and Bone' rated 77/100 by Artistsandbands.org Webzine (Italy)!
"La giovane band australiana, che prende il nome da un principe demone di Warhammer (Be’lakor), torna sulla scena death metal con un nuovo album intitolato Of Breath and Bone.
La qualità del loro stile sta nel fondere elementi death, tipicamente aggressivi, con melodie vere e proprie. Questo melting pot si può subito notare nella prima traccia “Abeyance”, in cui per 8 minuti si passa fluidamente da una sonorità ad un’ altra, anche diverse tra loro. Uno dei temi che ricorre nell’album, attraverso parole e suoni, sono i “resti” che possono cadere nell’oblio come nel brano precedente. In quello successivo, invece, si parla appunti dei resti, “Remnants” dove giocano un ruolo principale le chitarre e, nel refrain, oltre alla voce, il potente drumming. In seguito vi è “Fraught” dal ritmo travolgente che si conclude in crescendo; tuttavia l’atmosfera frenetica si dissolve inizialmente in “Absit Omen”, locuzione latina usata per allontanare la mala sorte: le melodie della tastiera aprono il brano lasciando poi lo spazio ad un buon working guitar accompagnato dal doppio pedale. Chitarre dal sound caldo e avvolgente dominano invece il breve intermezzo “To stir the sea”. “In parting” riprende le sonorità più ansiogene combinate con elementi melodici presenti soprattutto a metà traccia. Una delle canzoni più death è forse “The dream and waking”, caratterizzata sempre da cambi di sezione ritmica.
Per finire c’è “By moon and star” che conclude in modo sapiente l’album riassumendo un po’ tutti i tratti distintivi dei Be’lakor, come l’energia, la melodia e l’espressività.
Il loro lavoro è ovviamente di buona qualità e adatto sia per un ascolto intimo da CD che per uno dal vivo. Ricordiamo che i Be’lakor si esibiranno quest’anno al Summer Breeze Open Air (Germania) e Brutal Assault Open Air (Rep.Ceca). Altre date europee verranno presto annunciate." [Giada]
'Of Breath and Bone' rated 9/10 @ Metalguide Webzine! :Smokin::Smokin:
"To be honest, this is the first time I hear about this band, and the first full length album that comes in my hands. This is the third album from the band that comes from Australia. Right from the first minute the band shows that knows exactly what has to be done in order to create an album that will please all fans of the genre. Melodic Death Metal, with brutal vocals, tons of melodies, songs with often outbreaks to more speedy moments, everything is here, and is so wisely used that this album is absolute fun to listen to. Along with that though, the band incorporated a melancholic and emotional atmoshere to the music, something that works well, and adds depth to the whole album. Diversity is also a key point here, since there are enough melodic moments, that give a nice contradiction with the more aggressive ones, showing that the band not only knows how to write interesting music, but also how to perform it. The majority of the songs are well arranged, with nice melodies, groovy tunes that stick in mind, a very tight rhythm section and well arranged vocals. There are enough ideas here, some maybe will seem a bit strange to the die hard fans, but all are well worked and explored to the maximum. Another interesting thing is that the songs are rather big in length, but there are no weak points or songs that sound indifferent or boring. With a choice of songs so good as this, and with both musicianship and creation being on such a high level, this will be another milestone in the career of the band. If you are a fan of Melodic Death, then check this album from one of the best bands Australia has to offer." [Victor]
Uh-uh! Metalstorm.net reviewed 'Of Breath and Bone' and gave it 9/10! Check it out!
"In what can only be described as a natural progression of one of the most highly regarded melodic death metal albums of the decade in Stone's Reach, Be'lakor have taken to the studio once more with the hopes of building on their already unrelenting momentum.
Of Breath and Bone begins as if "Countless Skies" was a season finale that left its audience begging for answers, building upon the exact qualities responsible for the praise of its predecessor. The dense, almost depressive atmosphere is as prominent as ever, separating the band from the sea of melodic death metal as oil asserts itself atop water. Their songwriting prowess is put on display as early as the opening track, "Abeyance", and just gets better and better throughout the course of the album. A noticeable difference this time around is the more folk-influenced guitar melodies, and a stronger focus on piano passages - both of which add to the overall somber mood. It's far from being monumentally different, but that's not going to upset a great deal of fans by any means.
In spite of the subtle changes, the album as a whole works perfectly as a direct follow-up to Stone's Reach, as some of the riffs even sound similar in the sense that - again - a story is being concluded. The fact that this ability spans two albums and not just two songs is rather impressive in itself, but this isn't the band's most appealing quality. That distinction would go to the accessibility, which of course at this point is synonymous with the genre, but here Be'lakor have an advantage. Building on the aforementioned atmosphere, these guys manage to include some incredibly catchy riffs and haunting melodies that are capable of inducing a man-tear or two while the headbanging quality is top-notch. Think Amon Amarth at their manliest or Insomnium at their bleakest. The band members deserve kudos if not only for incorporating elements from both bands while maintaining their own voice - something that is unique in this genre.
Songs begin and end in what is fast becoming "typical fashion" for the band, with introductions that build up a bombastic body of work before closing out with even more fervent proficiency, and yet another break in the action by way of an acoustic instrumental track ("To Stir the Sea") keeps the album from becoming one continuous melting pot of overlapping riffs.
Simply put, Of Breath and Bone is more of the same but in a more continued sense that will undoubtedly cause the same stir as its predecessor. This album doesn't mark a new direction and maintains the same successful formula as before, but this time around the entirety of the band's sound comes off as more direct, and even slightly more daring. With a mixture of fluffy, light-hearted melodies and brutal fist-pounding riffs backing up the always delectable growls of George Kosmas; a heavy production that lends a major hand to the doleful vibe, thanks in large part to Jens Bogren; and insanely catchy, yet forward-thinking compositions, these Australians have delivered exactly what fans of the band have been eagerly awaiting. No unpleasant surprises, no needless changes or drastic transitions - just well-executed melancholic melodic death metal that further builds upon a foundation that is largely considered to be one of the strongest currently in the scene." [Troy Killjoy]
New interview with keyboardist Steve Merry (BE'LAKOR) online @ Metalnews.de!
'Of Breath and Bone' rated 92/100 @ Infernal Masquerade Webzine!
"Rivaling the most impressive Melodic Death Metal releases of the last few years, today we have Belakors third full-length release titled Of Breath and Bone. This Aussie band has been making some pretty decent releases up until now, but with this one they take things to a whole new level. Delivering eight tracks of brilliantly crafted Melodic DM, this band is sent for world domination one riff at a time.
Opening with the 8-minute opus Abeyance, the band wastes no time in delivering a full-on riffage assault with powerful growls and excellent drumming. The bands melodic sound is just outstanding and nicely carving different moods into their songs. Nearing the 3-minute mark the band goes on melodic DM masturbation mode and we almost began headbaning for the first time in this release, brilliant section we might add.
Remnants is our favorite track in this release thanks to the epic progression it follows. The band has managed to deliver a very impressive song that will blow you away thanks to its interweaving melodic and aggressive sections. We are reminded of Insomnium when listening to this track, but Belakor makes sure to add their own signature sound to it as well. Absit Omen is another awesome track when the band experiments with some classical elements adding a very emotional dimension to their sound resulting in even more impressive melodic passages.
Things turn a darker on the second half of In Parting, just when we thought that the album was getting a bit repetitive. This clean section is very well introduced into the song and it nicely breaks up the flow of this track. The use of piano/keyboards is present through the whole release, but it is only use for minimal atmospheric purposes allowing the guitar melodies to really shine. Closing with the mellow By Moon and Star, this track has a Doom-vibe that only Insomnium has managed to infuse in their music before, and Belakor pulls it off majestically.
If you are looking for excellent Melodic Death Metal, look no further and get this amazing release. Belakor has been slowly maturing, and now they are ready to take the main stage and blow people away. Every single track in this release has majestic melodic moments and razor-sharp riffs all throughout, paired with a gloomy atmosphere; Of Breath and Bone is easily one of the top 10 releases of 2012 so far." [Dark Emperor]