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BE'LAKOR - Of Breath and Bone

Discussion in 'Kolony Records' started by lorenzo_kolony, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. lorenzo_kolony

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    New great review of 'Of Breath and Bone' by Metal-inside.de!

    "BE\'LAKOR sind mit „Of Breath And Bone” auch schon bei ihrem dritten Album angekommen, ohne dass sie bisher die ihnen zustehende Aufmerksamkeit der Melodic Death-Gemeinde bekommen hätten. Das muss sich schleunigst ändern, denn was die Jungs aus Down Under in die acht Songs gepackt haben, sind nicht nur ihre besten Ideen, sondern schlicht bester melodischer Schwedentod. Stärker als bisher sind sie dabei an alten IN FLAMES und DARK TRANQUILLITY orientiert („The Dream And The Waking“), lassen aber auch immer wieder OPETH-Einflüsse aufblitzen. Bei mehr als 55 Minuten in den acht Songs ist klar, dass sie nicht auf Easy Listening-Kram aus sind, sondern ihren Songs genug Zeit zur Entfaltung geben, den Hörer aber auch so mehrere Durchgänge abverlangen, bis der die Schönheit des Gebotenen erkennt. Handwerklich ist dabei alles top, von den starken Growls über die melodische Gitarrenarbeit (Göteborg in Reinkultur) bis zum Songwriting – da passt einfach alles. „Of Breath And Bone“ hält ein konstant hohes Level und wartet mit Songs auf, in denen das Tempo gut variiert wird, die aber trotzdem zum konstanten Moshen einladen, aller Komplexität zum Trotz. Kurzum: wer melodischen Schwedentod mag, kommt um diese Scheibe nicht herum! Kaufen, Hören, Glücklich sein!" [Lars Heitmann]

    Link:
    http://www.metal-inside.de/frame.php?url=http://www.metal-inside.de/review.php?id=14355
     
  2. lorenzo_kolony

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    'Of Breath and Bone' rated 8,8/10 @ Hungary's Femforgacs webzine! :hotjump::hotjump::Smokedev:

    "Az érdekes nevű Be’lakor leírva és kiejtve is mókás dolgokat produkálhat egy magyar ember számára. Lehet ugye Béla kor. De hányadik Béláé? És egy új stílusirányzatot is ki tudunk belőle hozni minimális képzelőerő segítségével. Igen, ez lehetne a Béla core.
    Tiszta szerencse, hogy a Be’lakor nem magyar, hanem ausztrál banda!
    És a kórságokhoz sincs túl sok köze, viszont a promólap szerint a muzsikusok fiatal életkora ellenére ők Ausztrália első számú melodic death alakulata. Az Of Breath and Bone pedig a harmadik nagylemezük. Előző albumuk, a Stone’s Reach hozta meg számukra a nemzetközi ismertséget, több nagy fesztiválra is kaptak meghívást, például játszottak a 2010-es németországi Summer Breeze-en, ahol idén is fel fognak lépni. Nekem az Of Breath and Bone az első találkozásom velük és bevallom őszintén, hogy a Costin Chioreanu (Mayhem, Aura Noir, Ava Inferi) által készített, a Piroska és a Farkas ihlette borító annyira elnyerte a tetszésemet, hogy kíváncsi lettem a muzsikájukra is! A festmény ügyesen lavírozik a giccs és a művészi értékű alkotás között, és kiváló kontrasztot képez a bájos, mosolygó kislány és a vicsori ordas ábrázolása! Ez a kettősség egyébként a zenére is jellemző, hisz a death metalos zúzásokat nagyszerűen ellenpontozzák a fülbemászó melódiák, harmóniák és a csodaszép leállások, akusztikus blokkok. A lemezen 8 dal található, kb. 56 percben, szóval könnyen kiszámolható, hogy a dalok 7 perc körüli átlaghosszal bírnak.
    És már a kezdő, Abeyance mindent felvonultat, ami az ötösfogat eszköztárában fellehető. George Kosmas énekes/gitáros mély hörgése, és Shaun Sykes szólógitárossal elkövetett fogós, megadallamos melódiái, okos váltások, Jimmy Vanden Broeck precíz dobolása, kétlábgépezése, Steve Merry szolid szintis támogatása és John Richardson betonbiztos bőgős alapozása.
    Bár jómagam nem szoktam általában díjazni, ha egy lemezen csak extrém vokalizálás folyik, de ez esetben egyáltalán nincs hiányérzetem, mert a gitárharmóniák kiváltják a dallamos éneket. Itt-ott azért George felvillant ilyen narráció-szerű, már majdnem éneklésnek mondható dolgot, de 99%-ban hörög. Zeneileg pedig hozzák azt a szintet, amit a korai In Flames, Dark Tranquillity anyagok, sőt a technikás játék és a gyakori hangulatváltások miatt az Opeth-féle progos vonal is felüti a fejét! A hangzást Jens Bogren (Opeth, Paradise Lost, Amon Amarth) kreálta, mondanom sem kell, nagyon rendben van! Persze önmagában a kiváló hangzás semmit sem érne, ha a dalok középszerűek lennének, de erről szó sincs! Még sokadik hallgatásra is képes meglepetést okozni az anyag, fel-felkapom a fejem egy-egy olyan megoldásra, amire eddig nem figyeltem föl. Tehát egyértelműen izgalmasabb, érdekesebb az Of Breath and Bone a manapság megjelenő melodeath albumok nagy részénél. Az Absit Omenben 1:30 körül olyan tetszetős riffek, gitárdallamok találhatóak, amire minden fülelés alkalmával rácsodálkozom!
    A To Stir the Sea másfél perces akusztikus gitáros, vonós hangszínekkel megbolondított szösszenete is jó helyre lett pozícionálva, hisz nyújt egy kis megnyugvást az utolsó három, egyenként 9 perces szerzemény előtt. Nem mintha bármelyik dal is csak a zúzásról szólna, ugyanis mindben vannak nyugisabb részek is, mégis jól tud esni egy rövid instrumentális, torzításmentes léleksimogató!
    Az In Parting, The Dream and the Waking, By Moon and Star hármas pedig a melodic death metal stílus kvintesszenciája! Meggyőződésem, ha ezek az ausztrál srácok 20 évvel ezelőtt léptek volna színre (ami ugye életkorukból adódóan lehetetlen), akkor a műfaj legkiemelkedőbb zenekarai, stílusalapító atyái között emlegetnénk őket.

    De így is van ám keresnivalójuk bőven, hisz az alapbandák egy része vagy már földbe állt, vagy zeneileg egy másabb irányba fordult.
    Aki kíváncsi arra, hogyan kell 2012-ben korszerű, de mégis hagyománytisztelő dallamos svéd death metalt játszani, az feltétlenül hallgassa meg az ausztrál banda június elején megjelenő albumát!" [oldboy]

    Link:
    http://www.femforgacs.hu/kritika/2314/Belakor_Of_Breath_and_Bone_2012
     
  3. lorenzo_kolony

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    Another review for BE'LAKOR's new album @ Heavy Metal Tribune!

    "Australian melodic death metal band Be'lakor has over the years crafted a name for themselves, with 2009's excellent Stone's Reach in particular leaving a rather deep impression of the band's style of music. After 3 years of wait, the band finally releases the follow up, Of Breath and Bone and is perhaps one of the very few melodic death metal albums that I actually look forward to listening to.

    The comparisons to other similar-styled melodic death metal bands such as Insomnium and In Mourning become extremely clear as the album opens with Abyeance, though Be'lakor on this album has expanded their sound slightly, with vocalist George's growls starting to sound more like Christian Älvestam, and the slight progressive feel that the band has incorporated on Of Breath and Bone at times reminds the listener of his work with Scar Symmetry, minus the clean vocals that the aforementioned band usually has in their music. Of course, all the traits that make Be'lakor such a stellar act in the first place are still present, with the extremely melodic guitar lines that are present in the music, managing to pull the emotions strings within the listener.

    Each of the instruments in the band are also present with specific purposes, and this is clearest in the guitar department. While one guitar would typically be driving the music forward with the sharp riffs, the other would be at the background providing the sense of melody, helping to enhance the atmospheric feel in the music along with the keyboards of Steve. Songs like Absit Omen even provide a slight orchestral moment with the strings, further pushing that emotional appeal of Be'lakor's music.

    Tracks on Of Breath and Bone also typically run for more than 6 minutes, with the exception of the interlude track To Stir the Sea, but the band manages to make proper use of these long run times to build the atmosphere in the track, ensuring that each track is a unique emotional experience in its own rights. The ability to constantly keep the listener enchanted is also evidence of the band's mastery in songwriting, and while most bands struggle to engage the listeners, the smooth flow of the music makes Be'lakor sound as if writing such quality music were a breeze.

    While the melodic death metal tag more often than not brings to mind bands that tend to lean towards the metalcore genre, Be'lakor has managed to really retain that element of melody in their music, and Of Breath and Bone could perhaps change the minds of some naysayers of the genre, with the album sounding like a nice cross between bands like Insomnium and Scar Symmetry." [Hong Rui]

    Link:
    http://heavymetaltribune.blogspot.it/2012/05/album-review-belakor-of-breath-and-bone.html
     
  4. lorenzo_kolony

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    Great review of 'Of Breath and Bone' published @ About.com!

    "Despite hailing from the relatively warm surroundings of Melbourne, Australia, Be’lakor’s sound is ostensibly influenced by the dark, cold melodic death metal acts from Scandinavia and Northern Europe. With a style featuring a few obvious tips of the hat to Opeth, Swallow The Sun and Amorphis, the Aussie group’s third full length Of Breath And Bone is one of the year’s most anticipated progressive metal releases.

    Although Be’lakor certainly fall into the more progressive side of death metal, there aren’t any real curveballs thrown into Of Breath and Bone, and the opening track “Abeyance” perfectly sums up the band’s intensions straight away. The word ‘epic’ gets tossed around far too much these days, but the tunes on this album are monstrous musical explorations, with the trio of closing numbers all around the nine minute mark and cover a bucketload of moods and themes. Guitar melodies dance behind George Kosmas’ guttural roars, with a slight tinge of Amon Amarth coming into the Australian’s sound with their Iron Maiden on steroids riffing.

    Much like their previous release, the fantastic Stone’s Reach, “Of Breath And Bone is a grand voyage through a myriad of sounds and styles. While things are kept heavy for the most part, Be’lakor aren’t afraid to throw in a few different ideas, with acoustic, piano and orchestral interludes adding to the light and shade elements. “By Moon and Star” is an archetypal closing number, with a calm lengthy middle section moving into a massive closing passage coated in walls of guitars and raw growls.

    The one negative that could be associated with the album is that it’s not the most original thing in the world, and as mentioned before, it is quite derivative of the standard melodic and progressive death metal genre. However, Be’lakor have enough strong tunes up their sleeves to make that merely a minor criticism, and if you want a record that is simply top quality dark, melodic death metal, you can’t go wrong with Of Breath and Bone." [Andrew Kapper]

    Link:

    http://heavymetal.about.com/od/belakor/fr/Be-Lakor-Of-Breath-And-Bone-Review.htm
     
  5. lorenzo_kolony

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    And another review, this time 7,5/10 @ France's Music Waves webzine!

    "Venu des antipodes, Be'lakor fut en 2009 et nonosbtant un premier méfait, The Frail Tide, déjà prometteur, une des découvertes majeures alors livrées par le Death Metal. Avec Stone's Reach, les Australiens parvenaient à synthétiser puissance et mélodie, pureté du trait et noirceur du ton. Dire qu'on attendait depuis leur retour tient de l'euphémisme et ce, d'autant qu'il leur aura fallu trois bonnes années pour digérer ce succès artistique et finalement lui offrir un descendant qui en soit digne voire mieux, qui lui soit supérieur.

    Durant ce lapse de temps, le groupe n'a en tout cas perdu son savoir-faire en terme d'ouverture d'album, comme le prouvent les 8 minutes pendant lesquelles "Abeyance" galope. Comme il l'avait donc fait avec le gigantesque "Venator" sur l'opus précédent, il ferre l'auditeur d'entrée de jeu avec un titre épique du feu de dieu qui condense une signature attachante qu'irrigue une évidente influence suédoise, puisant autout dans l'école de Göteborg pour le primat de la mélodie que dans celle initiée par la famille Dan Swanö (Katatonia, Opeth) pour le chant caverneux de George Kosmas et cette mélancolie qui fait parfois plus qu'affleurer à la surface.

    Comment résister également à l'intro aussi démentielle que douloureusement belle ouvrant "Remnant", lequel déboule dans la foulée ? Et que dire de l'envolée sombre et dramatique qui enveloppe "Absit Omen", composition qui draine des riffs limpides beaux à en pleurer, autre marque de fabrique de Be'lakor. En parcourant Of Breath And Bone, on comprend pourquoi celui-ci a dû prendre son temps. Bien qu'immédiats dans leur manière de s'accrocher à la mémoire, ces titres, lesquels ne descendent jamais en dessous de la barre des six minutes au garrot (exception faite de l'intermède acoustique "To Stir The Sea", pause voilée de désespoir), ont la précision d'un travail d'horloger.

    En dépit de leur durée, ils restent construits sur des tubulures d'une grande fluidité. Les parties s'enchaînent, sans heurts ni maladresse, imposant chez l'auditeur une impression d'une trame qui coule toute seule. C'est la grande force des Australiens, batisseur d'un Death Metal épique qui réussit l'équilibre pourtant peu aisé à atteindre entre technique et émotion, densité et harmonie.

    Si l'enchainement de "In Parting", "The Dream And The Waking" et "By Moon And Star", soit près de 30 minutes à eux trois, rend la seconde partie de l'écoute plus difficile, le fait est que Of Breath And Bone confirme l'immense potentiel de ses géniteurs dont on voit mal ce qui pourrait les empêcher de s'imposer plus encore. Gageons qu'à l'avenir Be'lakor, à l'instar de son compagnon d'écurie, De Profundis puisse prétendre à accéder à la première division... Il le mérite et c'est là tout ce qu'on lui souhaite..." [Childeric Thor]

    Link:
    http://www.musicwaves.fr/frmChronique.aspx?pro_id=8396
     
  6. lorenzo_kolony

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    Ehy guys, on the eve of the launch of ‘Of Breath and Bone’, BE'LAKOR have decided to make the whole album available on YouTube for your listening pleasure! Give it a listen and please share the word if you like!















     
    #26 lorenzo_kolony, May 31, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2015
  7. Concertmusic

    Concertmusic Member

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    Lorenzo -

    Given that move, do you expect it to be available on Spotify as well? Won't really matter to me, as I am getting a copy for myself, but it will be easier to share with friends and family who may be interested in a listen.

    Thank you!
     
  8. lorenzo_kolony

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    Ehy!

    I guess yes, but since all digital sales are handled by the band (we as a label only handle the physical album release / distribution in Europe), i suggest you to drop Be'lakor a line directly (http://www.facebook.com/belakorband).

    best,
    Lorenzo
     
  9. lorenzo_kolony

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    What's better than 90/100 rating @ Lords Of Metal to feast the release of 'Of Breath and Bone' today? :headbang::kickass:

    "After the release of the magnificent ’Stone’s Reach’ in 2009, Australian Be’lakor could present its progressive tinged melodeath metal live on European soil as well. A gig at noon at Summer Breeze 2010 will always be remembered by the undersigned. Also this year, the Melbourne based five-piece has achieved a slot at this well-known German festival. It is fine to experience that we can notice a constant evolution in Be’lakor’s music, without breaking with the global sound, characteristic at previous albums. Summarizing one could say that they have developed a signature sound, no longer obviously based upon Swedish Vikings Amon Amarth, as showcased on their debut ’The Frail Tide’.

    If I mentioned obvious similarities with Amon Amarth, nay even Opeth, when reviewing previous albums, then Be’lakor has widened its musical horizon right now towards a guitar-oriented melodic death metal approach. Particularly guitar accents really leap to the eye during this lump of energetic yet melancholic music. Vocalist George Kosmas does a great job once again with its voluminous yet juicy growls, still a bit akin to those of Novembers Doom’ Paul Kuhr. This is increased by captivating intermezzos with spoken fragments. The lengthy compositions have a delicious finesse, due to thoughtful passages, adding a zest with acoustic guitars and epic arrangements. Yet the general impression remains rather rough. Changes in rhythms and atmosphere happen in a fluent manner. That is why ‘Of Breath And Bone’ has a perfect balance between challenging parts and necessary catchiness. Just like in the past, I cannot spot any specific highlights or flaws and that’s only a pro.

    In between the extended epics, going from six to more than nine minutes length, one can find the acoustic fragility of ‘To Stir The Sea’. That moment we can take a deep breathe to recover from the wealthy musical opulence of Be’lakor. The intelligent lyrics about nature, paganism and even Greek mythology are an extra for those who are looking for an extra or like to dig into deeper contents. It might be quite unusual to dig deeper into these subjects for an Australian band, they do it with so much verve that it seems to illustrate their natural habitat. And that is only one segment where Be’lakor stands out. Their instrumental and composing talents seem quite obvious to me. It is only doing justice to the band that ‘Of Breath And Bone’ will be released and distributed by decent label(s). Now they do not need to find their way all by themselves in the labyrinth of current upcoming bands." [Vera]

    Link:
    http://www.lordsofmetal.nl/showreview.php?id=21871&lang=en
     
  10. lorenzo_kolony

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    Review by Germany's Heavyhardes.de!

    "Be'lakor gehören zu den Hoffnungsträgern im Bereich des Melodic Death Metals. Und das, obwohl sie gar nicht aus einer der Stammgegenden dieses Musikstils kommen, sondern aus dem sonnigen, aber fernen Australien stammen. Und obwohl sie (so zumindest interpretiere ich das Bandfoto) noch recht jung an Jahren sind, handelt es sich beim hier besprochenen Album immerhin schon um das dritte Werk der Aussies.

    Es zeugt von überraschender Reife, dieses Opus. Handwerklich makellos in Szene gesetzt, zeigt Of Breath And Bone eine Band, die genau weiß, was sie tut und was Fans des genannten Genres erwarten. Das Material ist von durchgehend hoher Qualität, vielschichtig und abwechslungsreich und bietet alles, was das Genre hergibt. Das allerdings hat auch zur Folge, dass sich die Überraschungen in engen Grenzen halten, mehr vom Gleichen dürfte hier der richtige Ausdruck sein. Das allerdings auf verdammt hohem Level, sowohl was das Songwriting als die Umsetzung betrifft. Da sind exzellente Musiker am Werk, die wissen, worauf es ankommt.

    Allerdings übertreiben sie es für meinen Geschmack manchmal, was die melodische Seite ihrer Musik angeht. Das ist auf Dauer hin und wieder etwas zu viel des Guten, etwas weniger ambitioniert und dafür entspannter wäre mir ganz recht gewesen. Aber das ist Ansichtssache, schlecht wird das Material dadurch mit Sicherheit nicht.

    Ein bisschen gewöhnungsbedürftig finde ich den Gesang. Ich stehe ja absolut aufs Growling, aber bei Musik, die dermaßen filigran, schön und komplex ist, habe ich etwas gebraucht, bis ich mich mit den tiefen Tönen aus der Kehle von George Kosmas anfreunden konnte. Dafür entwickelt der Sound von Be'lakor dadurch immerhin ein etwas anderes Gesicht als das Gros der Szene.

    Den Australiern ist mit Of Breath And Bone ein beachtliches Album gelungen, das zwar nicht wirklich vor Originalität strotzt und bei dem mir nicht alles zu hundert Prozent gefällt, das aber Fans von Kapellen wie alten In Flames auf der einen und neueren Bands wie Insomnium auf der anderen Seite gut munden dürfte." [Hannes]

    Link:
    http://www.heavyhardes.de/review-8479.html
     
  11. lorenzo_kolony

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    8/10 @ France's Heavylaw.com! :Smokin:

    "Les Australiens ont une image assez particulière, on les imagine souvent entourés de kangourous en train de manger du serpent avec un collier de dents d'alligators autour du cou... Comment ça je regarderais trop de films ? Bon c’est sûr, le cliché de Paul Hogan dans le rôle du crocodile dundee m’a paru évident, mais réduire le peuple océanique à une caricature d’aventurier et à un sous-Indiana Jones est dépréciatif. Cette caricature me parait d’autant plus fausse puisque si on observe le monde du métal extrême, on remarque une multitude d’assaillants jouant des coudes pour se faire une place sur la scène musicale. Be’Lakor fait partie de ceux qui ont su échapper à l’anonymat avec notamment un debut album d’une envergure impressionnante. Au travers de « Stone’s Reach », le groupe avait su capter un flot musical d’une ampleur sans précédent et l’injecter directement dans nos oreilles sans détour.

    Avec « Of Breath And Bone », l’appel semble être clair, la déliquescence musicale se déroulera dans un environnement combatif et épuisant. Par le biais de ce titre, on se doute bien par ailleurs que le groupe ne fera aucune concession et s’emploiera dans un registre complètement enragé, mais pour le moins affable. Et même si la cover illustrant le conte de Charles Perrault, dresse un cliché de l’innocence et de la bienveillance incarnées par le Petit Chaperon rouge, n’oublions pas la férocité matérialisée ostensiblement par le loup tous crocs dehors et la violence subtilement évoquée par le choix des couleurs sombres couplées au rouge hématique de la cape de notre petit enfant. C’est ce que j’appelle un contraste et le choix semble judicieux. En effet, dès « Abeyance », la formation nous plonge dans des horizons pesants et lourds instaurés par une utilisation des basses et une batterie qui percute sans relâche. « The Dream And Waking » illustre bien cet exemple avec les blast-beats incompressibles qui nous immobilisent dans un état catatonique durant de nombreuses secondes... Et le pire dans tout ça, c’est qu’on en redemande.

    En effet, cet opus ne dément pas les prémisses du premier album, avec l’appui de la structure musicale particulièrement musclée, on relève rapidement que les musiciens ne font aucune concession. Les guitaristes parviennent à maintenir la pression avec des riffs assourdissants pendant que le chant se maintient de manière inextinguible sur une intensité palpable et courroucée (« In Parting »). George Kosmas vocifère, enrage et tourmente les paroles avec un aplomb hors norme. Les lignes de chant occupent une place importante avec une interprétation caverneuse, la musique du groupe parvient à décupler la vigueur et l’animosité créées en l’espace de quelques notes. Cependant, la structure musicale ne se contente pas d’un seul argument ! Une légère variation caméléonesque se tire une partie de la couverture et il arrive par moment que certains attraits impériaux fassent irruption (« Remnants »). La dimension progressive pointe toujours un peu le bout de son nez afin de permettre d’éthérer le bouclier musical oppressant (« By Moon And Star »).

    Certains albums demandent beaucoup de réflexion et il est difficile de se positionner malgré beaucoup de recul. Avec « Of Breath And Bone », nul besoin de se poser la question, on est de suite emporté dans un torrent mélodique et incroyablement compulsif. De ce fait, les musiciens arrivent fréquemment à nous surprendre que cela soit par le biais des breaks magistraux (« Fraught », « In Parting ») ou grâce à des leads monumentaux. J’aurais presque envie de vous dire que cet album est une valeur sûre du death métal mélodique, et je ne pense pas me tromper. Les musiciens affichent une rigidité nécessaire pour ne pas affaiblir leurs compositions et porter au plus haut l’intérêt, tandis qu’ils savent intelligemment mettre en évidence des passages relativement accessibles et avant tout captivants. D’autre part, les différentes chansons respirent le perfectionnisme notamment avec une introduction le plus souvent jouée sans distorsion (guitare sèche ou piano), calibrant la violence à la baisse et lorsqu’arrivent les grésillements on saute une marge ainsi le relief est d’autant plus marqué.

    En tout cas, on est conquis et on ne peut qu’apprécier « Of Breath And Bone » dans son ensemble. Le concentré musical exploite au maximum les aspérités d’un death mélodique sans s'embarrasser des écueils qu’on peut retrouver dans d’autres groupes et/ou albums. Les Australiens s’en sortent haut la main avec un opus complètement réussi et qui reste d’un niveau égal du début à la fin. Ce qui impressionne le plus c’est avec quelle facilité déconcertante la formation instaure cette frénésie à un régime élevé sans défaillir. À écouter d’urgence et sans vous interroger, le reste Be’Lakor s’en occupe !" [AlexFullHD]

    Link:
    http://www.heavylaw.com/c5411-Belakor-Of-Breath-And-Bone.html
     
  12. lorenzo_kolony

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    9,5/10 @ Bloodchamber.de! :Smokin::devil:

    "Jungs von INSOMNIUM, aufgepasst! Da löst sich etwas aus eurem Schatten, ein Dämon aus der Unterwelt drängt darauf, im Licht der Öffentlichkeit zu baden. Es mag paradox erscheinen, dass ein finsteres Höllenwesen in diesem Licht erstrahlen möchte – genau so paradox ist es aber, dass dieser Dämon namens BE’LAKOR in der Metal-Gemeinde noch nicht in aller Munde ist. Angesichts der schwindelerregenden Qualität von „Stone’s Reach“, dem zweiten Studioalbum der australischen Melodic Deather, sollten BE’LAKOR eigentlich die Bühnen mit Genregrößen wie AMON AMARTH oder eben auch INSOMNIUM teilen dürfen. Derlei Erfolgserlebnisse blieben den fünf jungen Burschen bisher noch verwehrt, mit ihrem dritten Streich „Of Breath And Bone“ wird sich das aber hoffentlich ändern…

    Denn BE’LAKOR knüpfen nahtlos an den grandiosen Vorgänger an, daran lässt bereits der monstermäßige Opener „Abeyance“ keine Zweifel: eine achtminütige Achterbahnfahrt, die mit einer Vielzahl an Stimmungs- und Tempowechseln aufwartet. Für derartige Breaks hat das Quintett mittlerweile ein fast schon beängstigendes Gespür entwickelt, sie scheinen genau zu wissen, wann sie mal die Bremse ziehen müssen. Doch BE’LAKOR lassen den Hörer nicht lange verschnaufen, das Gaspedal wird schon bald wieder durchgetreten. Das unheimlich dynamische „Fraught“ beispielsweise steht dem Opener in dieser Hinsicht nicht nach.
    Trotz der Überlängen der Songs und der zahlreichen Tempowechsel wirkt „Of Breath And Bone“ aber nicht übermäßig progressiv oder gar verfrickelt. Gerade die tollen Gitarrenleads sorgen immer wieder für eingängige Momente, auf die sich der Hörer auch beim x-ten Hördurchlauf noch freut. Das Keyboard bleibt fast die gesamte Spielzeit über angenehm im Hintergrund und trägt seinen Teil zur Gesamtatmosphäre bei. Ohnehin ist die Instrumentalfraktion über jeden Zweifel erhaben, und die Growls von Frontmann George Kosmas sind eines Dämons mehr als würdig.

    Was zum ganz großen Sprung an die internationale Spitze des Melodic Death Metal vielleicht noch fehlt, ist ein Mitgröhl-Hit der Marke „Pursuit Of Vikings“. Einen derartigen Hit haben BE’LAKOR nicht im Repertoire, aber auch nicht im Sinn, da sie einen anderen Songwriting-Ansatz als beispielsweise AMON AMARTH haben. Bleibt zu hoffen, dass die Australier diesen Ansatz weiter verfolgen und sich nach wie vor nicht an Trends und Hypes anbiedern – es aber trotzdem auf die großen Bühnen schaffen und den Erfolg einfahren, der ihnen gebührt. Denn SO muss Melodic Death Metal klingen. INSOMNIUM jedenfalls brauchen nicht mehr in den Rückspiegel schauen, sondern sollten selber mal wieder das Gaspedal durchdrücken. Andernfalls hat ihnen ein gewisser Dämon bald (zu Recht) den Rang abgelaufen." [Tim Serwatka [tse]]

    Link:
    http://www.bloodchamber.de/cd/b/8649/
     
  13. lorenzo_kolony

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    4 out of 5 @ Valkyrian Music!

    "Named after a demon from the Warhammer game, Australian melodic death metal band BE’LAKOR are back with their third full length release out soon on Kolony Records. ‘Of Breath And Bone’ the bands latest opus features red riding hood style artwork and the band hope to that with this they will capture the form that they displayed on their last album when they were picked up to play Summer Breeze, a feat they shall repeat this year! Initial thoughts on Be’lakor’s sound are that they are an immensely powerful band. Their use of pace changes accentuates the melodies woven into everything that they write yet at the same time they are blisteringly heavy throughout. Each track comes with its own sense of purpose, drama and suspense and when Be’lakor decide it is time for a moment of clarity with a subtle interlude here and there, they make sure it’s of the highest order in quality and execution.

    There is no weak link in the chain on this album. The drumming is thundering and spectacular, the riff-age is a contrast of bludgeoning unmerciful savagery and somber, subtle and delicate beauty. Vocally aggressive and powerful and with a sturdy back bone of heavy bass completes the mix. My only complaint here is that there are only eight tracks to enjoy and credit has to be given to Be’lakor here as they definitely leave you craving more from them. As a reviewer i suppose I am obliged to write some witty end of review patter about the band and the album but in this case there is really no need, so i will say simply this. it isn’t hard to see why such a great festival such as Summer Breeze is having them back again within two years of their initial appearance. This album is fantastic, so buy it!" [Luke Hayhurst]

    Link:
    http://valkyrianmusic.com/2012/06/01/belakor-of-breath-and-bone/
     
  14. lorenzo_kolony

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    Another cool review online of 'Of Breath and Bone' - this time @ Italy's Dagheisha.com webzine!

    "E' curioso come un gruppo proveniente dall'Australia sia in grado di ergersi a livelli tanto elevati in ambito death metal melodico. Ascoltando 'Abeyance', traccia iniziale di questo splendido album sembra di tornare ai tempi in cui Sentenced e Opeth primeggiavano nelle preferenze degli appassionati permettendo al genere di uscire dalla nicchia di interessi creata agli albori. 'Of Breath And Bone' culla l'ascoltatore dal primo all'ultimo momento, puntando su melodie di grande impatto, tastiere non banali e linee di basso importanti. Il cantato di George Kosmas viene supportato da una sezione ritmica di tutto rispetto e 'Remnants' appare il pezzo più orientato alla dimensione live insieme a 'The Dream And The Waking'. Il crescendo emotivo di 'Absit Omen' e le dinamiche della conclusiva 'By Moon And Star' rappresentano altri momenti chiave di una release che cancella il passato e ripropone con forza il nome dei Be'Lakor nel vecchio continente. Impeccabile come sempre il mixaggio effettuato da Jens Bogren ai Fascination Street dove un tempo sono passati Opeth e Paradise Lost. Non aspettatevi niente di originale ma vi assicuro che togliere questo disco dallo stereo sarà un compito arduo." [divine]

    Link:
    http://www.dagheisha.com/prod/music/reviewCd.jsp?idCd=6511
     
  15. lorenzo_kolony

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    'Of Breath and Bone' rated 8,5/10 @ Metalwani.com Webzine!

    "For the last decade the world has slowly entered into an era of Metal overload. 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. Each and every track from the album leaves a listener with a wholly unique sound, making this one of the best melodic death metal albums I’ve ever heard! The heavy and polished production only heightens the godliness of this album; the credit for which goes to Jens Bogren. This is an album that you cannot get out of your mind. It’s truly 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." [Naman Lakhani & Owais 'Vitek' Wani]

    Link:
    http://www.metalwani.com/2012/06/review-belakor-of-breath-and-bone.html
     
  16. lorenzo_kolony

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    Metal.de rated 'Of Breath and Bone' 9/10!

    "Ein neues BE'LAKOR-Album, Zeit für ein bisschen Werbung und Lobhudelei. Denn mal ganz ehrlich: Wenn jemals Zweifel bestanden, dass die Australier mit ihrem dritten Langspieler nicht einen ganz dicken Brocken vorlegen würden, so haben die Appetithappen in den letzten Wochen und Monaten diese ausgeräumt und die Vorfreude aufs Album enorm gesteigert.

    "Of Breath and Bone" zeigt die Truppe aus Melbourne in Hochform. Stilistisch hat sich im Vergleich zum Vorgänger nicht viel geändert, doch dazu bestand ja auch (noch) kein Anlass. MeloDeath wird geboten, nachwievor dankbar frei von allzu modernen Auswüchsen. Anstatt an der Rezeptur rumzudoktorn, haben sich BE'LAKOR darauf konzentriert, möglichst großartige Stücke zu schreiben, und es ist ihnen tatsächlich gelungen, die Hitdichte in die Nähe der 100%-Marke zu steigern. Sehr eingängig ist das Material, dabei aber keinesfalls oberflächlich oder gar poppig. Noch immer hat die Band einen Hang zu überlangen Kompositionen, die von verspielten Gitarren geprägt werden und dank cleverer Dramaturgie nie langweilig werden. Wunderschöne schwermütige Leads gibt es in Hülle und Fülle zu bestaunen, doch sorgen geschickt plazierte Breaks, wohldurchdachte Tempowechsel und die trotz aller Melodie reichlich vorhandene Aggression für Abwechslungsreichtum und Spannung.

    Irgendwelche Höhepunkte herauszupicken, ist naturgemäß schwierig, wenn man das gesamte Album für einen einzigen Höhepunkt hält. Der von Ohrgasmus zu Ohrgasmus hetzende Opener wäre ein guter Kandidat. Oder doch lieber das energische "Remnants"? "Fraught" mit seinen besonders elegischen Leads? Der in Tränen endende Rausschmeißer "By Moon and Star"? Ach, wisst ihr was, hört euch einfach auf der Youtube-Seite von BE'LAKOR die komplette Scheibe an und entscheidet selbst.

    Mit "Of Breath and Bone" haben die Australier ihren Stil soweit vervollkommnet, dass man sich fragen muss, was hiernach noch kommen kann. Ohne eine zumindest teilweise stilistische Neuorientierung dürfte das nächste Album kaum über schlichte Nachahmung herauskommen. Das muss uns jedoch heute nicht den Spaß an einem Werk verderben, das in Sachen MeloDeath ziemlich nah an der Perfektion ist." [Erik]

    Link:
    http://metal.de/index.php?option=com_articles&view=article&id=50259
     
  17. lorenzo_kolony

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    'Of Breath and Bone' rated 8/10 @ Behind the Veil webzine (Greece)!

    I still remember to this very day, three years after the release of their sophomore full length album, “Stone’s Reach”, how impressed I was with this Australian band.
    The guys may be young, but this doesn’t mean they lack in experience, passion or skills and they come to prove this claim right once again with their third studio work, “Of Breath and Bone”, which is a fine example of melodic death metal being mixed with doom. The eight compositions that comprise this work speak for themselves and are the best way to prove why this band is worth worldwide recognition. Having a sound of their own the guys offer us melodic doom death metal with dark epic atmospheres that will definitely please both the fans of the Gothenburg scene who really like DARK TRANQUILLITY and those who are into bands like OPETH and ANATHEMA. Actually these aforementioned bands can give you a clear clue as to BE’LAKOR’s style that has both finesse and aggressiveness. The band has managed to create some really catchy songs that consist of a wide range of styles and influences and are technical, but never sound pretentious or over-laden with ideas just for the sake of showing off." [Christine]

    Link:

    http://www.behindtheveil.hostingsit...ws/new-albums/580-belakor--of-breath-and-bone
     
  18. lorenzo_kolony

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    'Yes, they’re that damn good, and certainly deserve some success' - check the review of 'Of Breath and Bone' @ Suicide Scriptures!

    "Is there anything worse than having your preconceptions challenged and shattered? One minute you’re merrily sauntering along through life harbouring certain prejudices, rigidly adhering to them and refuting any challenges, when not wilfully ignoring them, and the next you’re suffering an existential crisis and succumb to nihilism.

    What could be worse than that?

    Well, quite a lot of things actually: I hear talk of a guy who recently, tragically, got chopped up, cannibalised AND molested, but that’s another story…

    Let’s get back on track; take the following statements:

    A) “BE’LAKOR plays Melodic Death Metal”

    B) “I don’t like any genre of Death Metal”

    C) “I won’t like BE’LAKOR”

    D) “I will like BE’LAKOR”

    I take a moment to offer my apologies to any logicians, programmers or mathematicians who see where I’m crudely going with this.

    So then, let’s say that A and B are definitely true and call them AB. If AB is true then what follows logically would have to be C, correct? Logically yes, but that’s about as much logic as I’m prepared to go into, because in this instance the outcome is actually D, for me at least.

    So hold on a moment, what the fuck? I’m no fan of Death Metal, I abandoned the shores of Death in favour of Black and Doom laced hatred and misery well over a decade ago, and no amount of infectiously aggressive melodic merry-making can ever or will ever bring me back.

    Mostly.

    Concessions must be made when there is adequate justification to do so, and this Australian outfit (with a name which probably has some profound meaning yet still sounds silly to my ears) provide it in spade.

    Yes, they’re that damn good, and certainly deserve some success.

    Now you may ask what makes them so special and why shouldn’t you just continue listening to Arch Enemy, Amon Amarth and the like? To which I would obnoxiously reply “Because you’d be missing out on some seriously high quality material comprised of greater intricacy than has been displayed by latter-day Arch Enemy and more fluidity than Amon Amarth, good though these bands are”.

    Now just because I did a bit of name dropping, don’t think for a second that I’m going to compare these guys to EVERY big name Melodic Death Metal band. I’ve not the time, nor the inclination.

    I will say that this release provides a good example of how to play this genre well, without compromising on the aggression or sacrificing the melody in order to please this or that audience, resulting in a juicy balance whereby the listener is fortunate enough to be subjected to Herculean helpings of both.

    If this is the standard quality of Melodic Death Metal these days then it’s no wonder its adherents are always so sodding cheerful. If this is an exception, then I see no reason why based on the strength of what’s on offer here, BE’LAKOR will no doubt earn great renown as they spread their message.

    My only real, minor criticism is that somewhere around the middle the ball is momentarily dropped, but this is very brief, as things pick up again in no time. An enjoyable release that you probably aren’t going to buy as you’re a tight-fisted bastard, so sure, go ahead and miss out only the depth and subtlety of their art; go eat your chip butty before mounting that bulbous mass you share bodily fluids with, but when you’re done, at the very least, go and see them live if you get the chance. Maybe buy a T-shirt or something.

    Seriously, this is some high level exciting music that you cannot help but enjoy, either passively in the background while having sexual relations with the recently deceased or while actively banging your head and quaffing far too much overpriced alcohol which tastes suspiciously like piss."

    Link:
    http://suicidescriptures.com/2012/06/belakor-of-breath-and-bone-2012-album-review/
     
  19. lorenzo_kolony

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    'Of Breath and Bone has secured a spot somewhere in my year end list without a doubt' - album review @ That Devil Music!

    "It’s funny how listening to genres goes in cycles. Of late it’s been quite a bit of death metal and thrash I’ve been listening to but one thing that has lacked from my diet has been the progressive and atmospheric death metal that I normally get from bands in Finland like Swallow the Sun, Insomnium, and Amorphis. Since all of those bands have recently released material there wasn’t too much coming my way until Be’lakor released their third full length ‘ Of Breath and Bone’. Here is the catch, this band is not Finnish but Australian. And Be’lakor can easily go toe to toe with the Finns in this department. Their previous two releases, 2007′s ‘Frail Tide’ and 2009′s ‘Stone Reach’ were excellent releases that largely went unnoticed probably because of the region Be’lakor is from when everyone was looking north. Now it’s three years later and Of Breath and Bone is upon us. The big question mark is after a long layoff and virtually no touring or exposure here in the states would this album be another exceptional collection of songs or be more reason to be overlooked some more.

    Fortunately the former is true here. After most of my heroes up north released some disappointing albums, Of Breath and Bone is a reminder on just how great this style of melodic and progressive death metal can be. Let’s start with the players. George Kosmas handles guitar and vocal duties and I’m telling you right now is probably in my top 5 of favorite growlers. His vocals have a ferociousness and power rarely matched while at the same time being comprehensible. As a collective unit the rest of the band is as follows:

    Shaun Sykes – Lead Guitar
    John Richardson – Bass
    Steve Merry – Piano / Keyboard
    Jimmy Vanden Broeck – Drums

    Normally I would break down each performer on here but quite often that gets tiresome and tedious because there really is only a few ways of describing a bass player or drummer sound for good or bad. I have no complaints in those departments. What really makes Be’lakor stand out aside from Kosmas vocals is the keyboard and piano of Steve Merry. His playing especially when incorporating pianos is what adds the atmosphere that makes OBAB so endearing. The track ‘In Parting’ is the best example of this. As a collective unit you would think that there would be dalliances almost into folk music but no, the arrangements are just dark enough for to you focus and be contemplative without being depressive.

    Overall there are 8 tracks on Of Breath and Bone with 7 of them being over 6 minutes in length and of those 4 of them are 8 minutes in length. If you like quick 3 or 4 minute long songs and have no real attention span you might want to pass on this. But if you’re an Opeth fan and are used to epics then you need to check out this album. For one, the songs are a bit long but not as ponderous as some of Opeth’s songs tended to be(this is coming from an Opeth fanboy) and secondly if you hate the prog rock direction Opeth has taken and want to revisit music with all of the qualities that make this style of music great then Of Breath and Bone is for you. ‘The Dream and the Waking’ is the best example of this.

    Of Breath and Bone has secured a spot somewhere in my year end list without a doubt. I usually have no problem recommended a band or an album but this time it’s a bit different. Be’lakor after three excellent releases deserves your full attention if you have not heard them. These guys have the goods to be a top tier band that commands as much respect as their peers up north and in some cases even more so. Want more proof? Then check out these songs from Of Breath and Bone and then go out and support these guys if you become a new fan." [Rob Liz]

    Link:
    http://thatdevilmusic.net/2012/06/03/devils-review-belakor-breath-bone/
     
  20. lorenzo_kolony

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    'Fans of extreme metal need look no further, Be’lakor have just set a new bar in the melodic death metal stakes, and it is high indeed' - 'Of Breath and Bone' reviewed by Sonicabuse.com!

    "Melodic death metal is an overcrowded genre that at its best can utterly slay and, equally, at its worst can dull the senses to the point of inducing Narcolepsy. Happily, the Warhammer-referencing Be’lakor, an Australian outfit who have been on the scene since 2004, fall into the former rather than the latter category and you can rest assured that sleepiness will certainly not ensue should you pick up ‘of breath and bone’, the band’s third and latest album released on the mighty Kolony records.

    Opening with the epic might of ‘Abeyance’ is a grand move. One of those songs that seems to build up a new riff every time you think you’ve just come to grips with the previous one, it is a suitably epic start to the record, clocking in at some eight minutes and introducing us in no uncertain terms to the band’s brutal, yet painstakingly melodic stall via an adrenalin charged rush through deathly territories, all expertly rendered by a production job that reproduces everything in perfect clarity, from the vexed growls of George Kosmas to the lead guitar breaks that keep things both brutal and tuneful. ‘Remnants’ opens on a progressive note, the guitar echoing around the listener before the band chip in, building up via a series of complex riffs to the awkward time signature of the main tune which is both brutal enough to head-bang to and yet complex enough to want to return to months down the line. With variety clearly being the band’s modus operandi, few riffs stay in situ long enough to become over-familiar and yet the band maintain a cohesion in their songs despite the multiple elements and complexity of the arrangements. Moreover the band’s innate sense of melody means that the music will stay in your head long after the disc has finished, and special credit must surely go to bassist John Richardson whose solid, intelligent bass-work underpins the guitarist’s flights of fancy perfectly. ‘Fraught’ is not, as the title might suggest, a blistering work of pure speed, but rather a more subtle beast that sits at the heavier end of Katatonia’s contemplative bent, the guitars churning and intertwining over storming percussion (Jimmy Vanden Broeck) whilst the keyboards (Steven Merry) also get a more obvious outing this time round, their addition a subtle but essential overall ingredient in the band’s sound.

    ‘Absit Omen’ brings the synth elements even further to the fore with a moody intro that develops slowly into a swirling track that is both heavy and beautiful all at once. The track moves through a variety of moods and feels; the aural equivalent of a journey that sees the listener taken through a number of different lands over the course of six short minutes, the vistas all different, but the sense of wonder the same throughout the trip. It is a highlight of the album, and a firm indicator of the level of skill Be’lakor can bring to bear. ‘To stir the sea’ opens on a wistful, and brilliantly played, acoustic note, the pace picking up until it segues into the heart-pounding ‘in parting’ which is one of the heavier tracks on offer here. ‘The dream and the waking’ is a slower paced piece, the guitars and keys nicely countering the faster-paced percussive assault that underlies the piece, whilst the vocals are ominous indeed on the verse – and yet the music itself is elegant, heart-warming even in the way it expands outwards. Like opening a curtain to discover your mundane flat overlooks the most amazing mountain range, Be’lakor have the ability to take the breath away with the melodies they develop and it is this ability that sticks long in the mind. Final track, and given the quality of the album it arrives far too soon, ‘by moon and star’ rounds out proceedings with another energetic performance that never lets aggression get ahead of melody yet still successfully gets the heart pounding and the blood pumping with its brutal vocals, brilliant melodies and stunning musicianship.

    Fans of extreme metal need look no further, Be’lakor have just set a new bar in the melodic death metal stakes, and it is high indeed. There is, quite simply, not a weak element here. The album, aty eight tracks, hardly outstays its welcome, and yet the level of invention is such on each of these lengthy pieces (the brief ‘to stir the sea’ notwithstanding) leaves you wondering how they managed to cram so much into so few tracks. What is without doubt is that ’of breath and bone’ is an intelligent, memorable and often breath-taking album that successfully welds beauty and brutality together in a manner that few bands successfully manage – easily in the top ten albums of the year, this is everything melodic death metal should be and it sets a devilishly high standard for any poor act who has to follow in their footsteps." [Phil]

    Link:
    http://www.sonicabuse.com/2012/06/belakor-of-breath-and-bone-album-review/
     

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