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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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    'This is poised to be one of my favorite albums of the year' - 'Of Breath and Bone' reviewed by Metal Injection!

    "Be'lakor have been one of my favorite bands since their underrated 2007 debut, and they continue to expertly fill that epic, doomy, melancholic and melodic death metal niche previously occupied only by Insomnium. A few words come to mind here: beautiful, cinematic, dark, tranquil. While I'm still not sure if the album matches up to Stone's Reach, their monolithic 2009 effort, it's clear that the band have another modern melodeath classic on their hands. As usual, the compositions here seamlessly flow from one point to the next; the listener carried through this dark ebb and flow of musical ideas; this dynamic crosscurrent of gentle piano work, jazzy and harmonized guitar leads, the most beautiful of clean guitars and the lush, dramatic textures of their melodic progressions. Best of all, the band has capitalized on their trademark pedal tone riffs, which, infrequent but memorable on Stone's Reach, now constitute a large part of the music. Three albums into their career and Be'lakor have yet to disappoint, with each album of equal or greater quality than the last. Of Breath And Bone solidifies the band as the torch-holders of modern melodic death metal, and this is poised to be one of my favorite albums of the year." [Matt Cerami]

    Link:
    http://www.metalinjection.net/upcoming-releases/the-weekly-injection-new-releases-out-today-65
     
  2. lorenzo_kolony

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    New review online (in Spanish) @ Ensayos de Incertidumbre!

    "Be´lakor es una banda australiana formada allá por el año 2004, que ha sabido practicar un muy decente Death Metal melódico desde sus inicios. Con una formación inalterada desde su fundación, tienen en su haber tres interesantes discos, siendo ‘Of breath and bone’ su último aporte a la escena y del cual voy a hablar a continuación, adelantando desde ya que es un más que digno Lp de buen Death Metal.
    Si nos ceñimos a términos estrictos, Be´lakor deberíamos encuadrarlo en el denominado Death Sueco New School, y más concretamente en el acuñado estilo de Gotemburgo, cuyos cabezas visibles en sus orígenes y posterior esplendor fueron los por todos conocidos Dark Tranquility e In Flames. Pero cuando éstos tontearon con otros matices musicales (acertados en cierto modo en Dark Trankility y lamentables en In Flames), en los inicios del nuevo milenio la escena comenzó quizás un cierto declive. Casi todo el movimiento sueco sufrió esa tendencia, cuyos recursos formales derivaron en el caso de los grupos menos fieles a sí mismos hacia ciertos aires que los distanciaban de su sonido primigenio – mucho más interesante éste a todas luces que los nuevo derroteros-, y Be´lakor supo coger el testigo e iniciar una carrera que hasta hoy, 8 años después de su fundación, ha seguido fielmente el estilo que los vio nacer. Esto es de agradecer dentro de un subgénero tendente a tantas veleidades, donde muchas bandas han evolucionado hacia estilos más comerciales generalmente.

    Como ya he dicho, Be´lakor se decantan por un sonido deathmetalero en su vertiente más melódica, pero lo hacen con un descaro ya desde su primera obra digno de alabanza, su disco ‘The frail tide’ es una propuesta muy a tener en cuenta en el panorama musical en el que se mueven (ojo al gran corte ‘Sanguinary’ o al bello y evocador ‘Paths’) , dejando claro sus convicciones; hay que tener en cuenta que no tienen ninguna demo previa, se lanzaron directamente a comerse la escena. Dos años después continúan con ‘Stone´s Reach’, donde apreciamos cierta evolución de su estilo, pero siempre respetando las bases formales de su estética, quizás podemos observar cierto endurecimiento musical, matiz lógico -la mayoría de bandas en su maduración tienden a suavizar sus formas, cosa que me parece en muchos casos un error- y muy de agradecer para los tiempos que corrían (especial mención merecen los temas ‘Outlive the Hand’ y ‘Husks’). Aún así, es un Lp muy parecido a su anterior trabajo, cosa que por supuesto no es criticable, como ya he dicho, afortunadamente no se adhirieron a ninguna moda.

    En este año 2012 nos traen ‘Of breath and bone’. ¿Qué podemos esperar de esta su tercera obra? Sin más, un sonido muy en la línea de sus anteriores trabajos, mucha melodía, toda la fuerza del Death Metal melódico apoyada en unos riffs que siguen a rajatabla las directrices del género, sin desmerecer en absoluto los otros instrumentos clásicos del metal respecto a las guitarras. La melodía es una constante en todos los cortes del disco, moviéndose generalmente en terrenos ni muy agresivos ni muy suaves, podríamos decir que en este punto es una obra homogénea (refiriéndome, claro está, a que no indaga en terrenos propios de otros subgéneros), siempre entendiendo que cada canción discurre por varios registros, como los clásicos pasajes acústicos que toda buena banda de death metal melódico debe incorporar (ejemplo de ello es ‘To Stir the sea’). Especialmente interesante es la canción ‘In parting’, quizás la más brillante del disco, ejemplo fiel de lo que es este trabajo de los australianos, velocidad, melodía, contundencia y sentimiento.

    La producción ha sido llevada a cabo por Jens Brogen en los estudios Fascination Street, donde han trabajado bandas del calibre de Opeth, Amon Amarth o Paradise Lost, lo que nos da una idea de la calidad sonora que vamos a encontrar en este ‘Of breath and bone’.
    Apuntar que sale a la venta el próximo día 1 de junio en Europa, excepto en Reino Unido, que se va al 4.
    La portada no me ha parecido tan acertada, aunque no es un desastre, quizás algo profusa en colorido y brillo, pese a que ha sido diseñada por Costin Chioreanu, que tiene en su haber diseños muchísimo mejores. Las dos obras anteriores de estos mismos Be´lakor poseen más garra y estética pictórica en sus cubiertas, pero eso ya depende del gusto estético de cada uno.

    ‘Of breath and bone’ es un gran trabajo de buen death metal melódico, que nos retrotrae a aquella época dorada que muchos de sus fundadores dejaron de lado, una mímesis muy acertada de las bandas más grandes del género, capaz de obsequiarnos con una estupenda obra con todos los fundamentos primordiales de un estilo que parece renacer con Be´lakor."

    Link:
    http://ensayosdeincertidumbre.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/be´lakor-of-breath-and-bone/
     
  3. lorenzo_kolony

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    Another review from Spain - 9/10 @ Noizz webzine!

    "Si te gusta ese género que se ha venido en llamar Melodeath, o simplemente Death Metal con melodías, estás de suerte ya que a través del sello italiano Kolony Records ve la luz el nuevo trabajo de esta joven, aunque preparada, banda australiana llamada BE’LAKOR. “Of Breath and Bone” es el título de este álbum que supone ya el tercero en la carrera de los australianos, una carrera discográfica que comenzó en 2007 con la edición de “The Frail Tide” a la que le siguió “Stone´s Reach” de 2009. El caso es que en 2012 BE’LAKOR demuestran un estado de forma y madurez envidiables que utilizan para dignificar este subgénero del Death Metal que puede dar grandes álbumes incluso fuera de Suecia.

    Con mezcla y masterización de Jens Bogren en los Fascination Street (esta vez sí, de Suecia) este “Of Breath and Bone” ha logrado un acabado de primera clase dentro del género, con una mezcla de energía y las consabidas melodías, además de grandes dosis de épica que crean una atmósfera grandiosa a lo largo de los ocho cortes que componen el trabajo. Un trabajo que además está compuesto con mucho talento, combinando elementos típicos en este tipo de grupos pero haciéndolo con mucha imaginación y calidad, hasta tal punto que los desarrollos casi se asemejan más a una banda de Metal Progresivo que a una de Melodeath, y es que realmente no hay límites a la hora de crear, demostrando que se pueden hacer temas sofisticados y pegadizos al mismo tiempo. Además hay que destacar la pureza de la música, con un Metal de melodías entrecortadas, riffs enérgicos, teclados bien avenidos, voces guturales… y nada de estribillos caramelizados con voces dulzonas.

    Si genial es la música de “Of Breath and Bone” no lo es menos su artwork, con una portada espléndida y original (a ver si toman nota muchos grupos) que hace que tener el disco en formato físico aumente la experiencia del mismo. Y es que no se pueden poner pegas a un disco como este, lo han bordado. Entiendo perfectamente eso que pone en su hoja promocional que los pone como la banda número uno en su país dentro del Death Metal melódico. Totalmente recomendado."

    Link:
    http://noizzwebzine.blogspot.com.es/2012/06/belakor-of-breath-and-bone.html
     
  4. lorenzo_kolony

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    'Of Breath and Bone' is 'hot album' (7,5/10) @ Metalitalia.com!

    "A quasi tre anni di distanza dal fortunato “Stone’s Reach”, tornano gli australiani Be’lakor con un monumentale nuovo album di quasi sessanta minuti. Otto canzoni che non smettono di colpire ascolto dopo ascolto. “Of Breath And Bone” vive infatti di una serie di tracce che, a dispetto di una lunghezza a tratti forse un po’ eccessiva, rivisitano il cosiddetto melodic death metal con un gusto e una padronanza che di questi tempi è arduo scovare persino in Svezia. Sulla grigia “Abeyance” la voce tormentata di George Kosmas annuncia la fine delle illusioni, mentre le chitarre e le tastiere tessono le prime trame di una tela che si preannuncia più intricata di quanto fosse lecito aspettarsi. Se infatti il comunque più che ispirato brano in questione si muove per ampi tratti su coordinate che una band come gli Insomnium ha già fatto proprie da qualche anno a questa parte – vale a dire una rielaborazione in chiave più controllata e malinconica del sound dei soliti vecchi maestri di Gothenburg – alcuni dei successivi episodi della tracklist mettono in mostra un songwriting più sfaccettato e sinuoso, che spesso si apre a melodie di matrice prog e midtempo corposi che riportano alla mente il Dan Swanö solista o quanto fatto da quest’ultimo a nome Edge Of Sanity su “Crimson II”. In particolare, un pezzo come “Absit Omen” si rivela irresistibile nel suo cambiare continuamente le carte in tavola, pur mantenendosi all’interno dei familiari confini di tutto ciò che può essere definito “death metal melodico”. Non mancano infine accenni di melodic doom, vagamente alla Rapture, che immergono il disco in un’atmosfera ancora più romantica, nonostante qua e là i ragazzi non dimentichino qualche sana accelerazione vecchia scuola, utilissime per non far scadere le tracce in una serie di riflessioni una più mesta dell’altra, che alla lunga potrebbero sfiancare anche l’ascoltatore più infervorato. Difatti, la pecca principale di “Of Breath And Bone” risiede essenzialmente nella prolissità di alcuni brani, nei quali i ragazzi legano assieme riff dopo riff, perdendo un pochino di vista l’efficacia complessiva. In ogni caso, questa nuova fatica targata Be’lakor rimane un disco particolarmente emozionale, da ascolto notturno e dal quale lasciarsi trasportare, quasi galleggiando sulle sue liquidità. Pur non offrendo elementi di novità rispetto ai canoni del genere, ne rappresenta comunque una rivisitazione di gran livello, oltre a dare prova della grande professionalità dei suoi autori." [Luca Pessina]

    Link:
    http://metalitalia.com/album/belakor-of-breath-and-bone/
     
  5. lorenzo_kolony

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    Imperiumi.net, Finland, rated 'Of Breath and Bone' 8/10!

    "Jos Be'lakorin kotimaata pitäisi arvailla pelkän musisoinnin perusteella, heittäisin arvaukseni länsinaapurimme Ruotsin suuntaan. Be'lakor onkin kenties maailman ruotsalaisin australialaisbändi, ilman minkäänlaista vinoilua.

    Of Breath and Bone on yhtyeen kolmas levytys ja samalla varsin hyvin kypsynyt sellainen. Onhan tällä aussiviisikolla jo toki ikääkin kahdeksan vuoden verran, joten aivan mistään ensikertalaisista ei ole kyse. Siltikin nuorukaisten osaavuus, tyylitajuisuus ja monipuolisuus on paikoin häkellyttävää, etenkin kun musikaalisena tyylilajina on jotain niinkin tavanomaista ja moneen kertaan pureskeltua tavaraa kuin melodinen metalli.

    Thrash- ja death metal -vivahteet loistavat taustalla, kuin myös Brave Murder Day -aikakauden Katatonia. Melodista, fiilistelevää ja tietyllä tavalla alakuloista. Mikä ehkä hämmentävintä onnistumisessa, yhtye ei ole tiivistänyt kipaleitaan kolmen minuutin radiosoittomuottiin. Sen sijaan kokoonpanon luritukset kellottavat yhtä lukuun ottamatta kuuden minuutin paremmalla puolella ja löytyypä levyltä peräti kolme yhdeksän minuutin tuntumassa olevaa raitaa. Eikä biisimateriaali silti tunnu missään kohti liian pitkältä tai tylsältä.

    Mikä sitten tekee Of Breath and Bonesta niinkin onnistuneen levyn? Kliseisesti vastattuna: se on enemmän kuin osiensa summa. Tunnelma on hyvin kohdallaan, mutta verisimmän työn ovat tehneet kitaristien menevät riffit ja tarttuvat melodiakulut. Kunniaa on osoitettava myös vakuuttavalla äänellä siunatulle laulusolistille, jonka muhkea örinän ja karjunan sekoitus on komeaa kuultavaa. Niin ikään soundit ovat suorastaan erinomaiset ja biisiannin kanssa täysin yhteensopivat.

    Hyvästä onnistumisestaan huolimatta Be'lakorin kolmonen ei ole täysosuma, ainakaan näin murjovampaa metallia kuuntelevan kannalta. Vaikka menevyydessä on paljon samaa kuin vaikka Amon Amarthin niin ikään melodisessa tulituksessa, myös tietynlaista raskautta olisi levylle toivonut astetta enemmän. Kaikkiaan Of Breath and Bone on kuitenkin miellyttävä tuulahdus 1990-luvun ruotsalaismetallia." [Serpent]

    Link:
    http://www.imperiumi.net/index.php?act=albums&id=13121
     
  6. lorenzo_kolony

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    BE'LAKOR: 'Of Breath and Bone' rated 4 out of 5 @ Metalalbumreviews.com!

    "Be’lakor are an Australian melodic death metal group with a real solid Gothenburg sound. They’ve only been around since 2005 (1st album not until 2007) and are already carving out an important spot for themselves amongst great metal of the world. This June marks their third studio release, “Of Breath and Bone”, which is a effortless blend of both melodic death metal and progressive metal.

    “Of Breath and Bone” opens with “Abeyance”, which is a fair representation of how the rest of the album will sound: real melodic guitar riffs, backed by a mid-tempo double bass beat, and epically placed guttural statements. This track also features a few moments of calm that are quickly shattered by a distorted repossession of the melody. “Abeyance” is a great example of how Gothenburg metal should sound if it’s going to be produced at this kind of level.

    Many of the tracks on “Of Breath and Bone” follow a similar template to “Abeyance”; meaning they are mid-tempo melodic death metal. But the next one that really stood out to me was track 4, “Absit Omen”. There are some really creative guitar harmonies throughout this track that showcase why “Of Breath and Bone” cannot be ignored, and that Be’lakor are on their way to being one of the best melodic death metal bands.

    As “Absit Omen” trails out with feedback, “To Stir the Sea” enters our speakers with a medieval minute and a half instrumental; I can picture it being played at a funeral in the Shire. Regardless of my cliche’ Tolkien references (the name “Be’lakor” comes from the game “Warhammer”), “To Stir the Sea” sets the tone for my favorite song on “Of Breath and Bone”, track 6 “In Parting”. The song’s got a killer opening and buildup into some great melodic guitar/keyboard action. This song feels more like a journey as there are so many riff and tempo changes; but they all fit together perfectly.

    “Of Breath and Bone” is almost an hour long, with Be’lakor pushing all but one of the songs between 6 and 10 minutes a piece. “By Moon and Star” closes out this album and doesn’t at all disappoint. This track feels a bit more intense then the rest of the album. The vocals seems more inspired and the instruments all seem drenched with more ferocity. This is, in my humble opinion, the other truly amazing song by Be’lakor this time around.

    While Be’lakor play a very familiar style of melodic death metal, there is still a real creative aggression emitting from their new album, “Of Breath and Bone”. I would have appreciated a record with a bit more grit to it and even a bit quicker, but there are those few tracks on here that really make “Of Breath and Bone” well worth the hour." [Editor]

    Link:
    http://metalalbumreviews.com/belakor-of-breath-and-bone-review/
     
  7. lorenzo_kolony

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    'Of Breath and Bone' rated 8,5/10 @ Obliveon.de!

    "„Stone´s Reach“ setzte meinen Kollegen Stephan 2009 derartig in Begeisterung, dass er neben einer Jubelkritik bei den Importen auch ein Interview mit der Band aus Melbourne folgen ließ. Nun liegt - nach der Eigenveröffentlichung „The Frail Tide“ und eben jenem „Stone’s Reach - mit „Of Breath And Bone“ das Drittwerk von Be’lakor vor und wird all’ jene begeistern, die ihren Melo-Death düster, leicht progressiv, stimmungsvoll und fernab der ausgetretenen Pfade mögen. Die Kreativbande versteht es auf bemerkenswerte Art und Weise eine Atmosphäre zu kreieren, die einerseits Zerrissenheit, Schmerz und Trauer, andererseits aber auch Wut und Aufbegehren zu transportieren weiß. Technisch perfekt inszeniert und strukturiert, vermitteln die acht wohldurchdachten Kompositionen doch stetig leidenschaftliche Emotionen. Wie schon bei „Stone’s Reach“ äußerst treffend bemerkt, könnte man den klischeefreien, anspruchsvollen, extravaganten, durchaus innovativen Melodic Death Be’lakors z.B. mit Namen wie Dark Tranquility, Opeth, den ebenso hoffnungsvollen Spires oder (den späteren) Novembers Doom in Verbindung bringen, letztendlich ist „Of Breath And Bone“ aber vor allem als eigenständiges Werk einer enorm inspiriert wirkenden Formation zu betrachten. Da auch das Artwork stimmig wirkt, die Produktion höchsten Ansprüchen genügt und Mix sowie Mastering in den bewährten Händen eines Jens Bogren lagen, kann man nur zu einem rundum begeisternden Gesamtkunstwerk gratulieren. Dies und die Tatsache, dass europäische Festivalshows (z.B. Summer Breeze 2012) anliegen, lassen hoffen, dass diese aufstrebende Band weitere Schritte gehen kann, um ihre klanglichen Visionen in der Szene zu verbreiten." [CL.]

    Link:
    http://www.obliveon.de/pn-om/module...cdreviews&file=index&req=showcontent&id=18083
     
  8. lorenzo_kolony

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    Also Metalreview.com rated 'Of Breath and Bone' 8,5/10!

    "Goddamn, this is some great melodic death metal. In the same vein as Dark Tranquillity and Insomnium without intense mimicry, Be’lakor (the name comes from Warhammer, in case you weren’t nerdy enough to know) delivers gripping riffs, killer harmonies, vicious vocals, and a pummeling rhythm section that puts them on the map for the third time since the release of their impressive freshman debut, 2007’s The Frail Tide. It’s almost hard to believe that these guys hail from Australia, since their sound is drenched with the icy waters of the Baltic Sea. They don’t have a vast discography or lengthy history under their belts (after all, the band has only been playing shows together since 2005), but Be’lakor is a group to watch out for. Their songwriting has reached new heights with Of Breath and Bone, and builds off the incredible foundation laid by Stone’s Reach without becoming uninspired. The album cover (which shows a cherubic Little Red Riding Hood character smiling down at a snarling wolf) immediately caught my eye, and the songs waiting within held my ear captive for Of Breath and Bone’s entirety.

    “Abeyance” is eight minutes of mighty guitars, bellowing growls that could move mountains, and emotionally charged quiet interludes that make the aggressive and impassioned sections that follow all the more striking. This is a trend that continues throughout Of Breath and Bone, and it’s clear that the band has a steady handle on dynamics and variation. As the album continues, Be’lakor’s combined rhythm and lead guitar prowess is showcased marvelously on “Fraught”, which is also one of the record’s catchiest songs.

    “To Stir the Sea” is a brief woodwind and classical guitar piece, serving as a pleasant but somewhat bland sonic palate cleanser which crescendos into the driving and wonderfully keyboard-laden “In Parting”. There are standout moments throughout this album, on nearly every song, but I’m certain that each listener will find their own moments that they deem glorious and exceptional. The album closer, “By Moon and Star”, mellows out about halfway through with deep spoken vocals and reserved drumming, but not for long. George Kosmas lets out a roar for the ages, and the drums slam back in with full force. Even when the song calms down in regards to tempo, the energy is still brilliantly focused and unwavering.

    My only qualm with these Aussies is that their writing can veer towards the derivative at times. After all, there are only so many chord progressions in the European Melodic Death Metal handbook, and Be’lakor seems to have played them all. Nevertheless, they perform their melancholic and thoughtfully composed songs with strength, sincerity, and no shortage of talent. It takes many years to confidently establish a full-bodied sense of atmosphere, and Be’lakor may be able to completely achieve this on their next album. I’m extremely optimistic, given the imposing sonic scope offered by Of Breath and Bone. Do they live up to their namesake as Dark Masters? At times, yes, and their steady reign seems almost inevitable." [Rae Amitay]

    Link:
    http://www.metalreview.com/reviews/6710/belakor-of-breath-and-bone
     
  9. lorenzo_kolony

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    'Of Breath and Bone is like a fine wine for the ears. Refined, and leaving you wanting more' - check out this review of 'Of Breath and Bone' @ Steff Metal!

    "Be’Lakor are a 5 piece melodic death metal band from Melbourne, Australia. Formed in 2004, they have 3 albums to their name, and their latest offering, Of Breath and Bone released June 4, 2012.

    Of Breath and Bone is like a fine wine for the ears. Refined, and leaving you wanting more.

    With only 8 songs, the album might seem a little on the short side, but they build on each other, dragging you into the music so you imagine yourself battling for kingdoms against fire-breathing dragons and defending your castle walls from heavily armored men atop angry black horses. I kid you not – it really will take you there. Consider it Battle Music for your imagination.

    Each track is generous in its length, but complex and interesting enough that you’re not simply wishing for one to end. Each track presents an individual flavour, so you’re never left wondering why it all sounds the same. The fast-paced, brutal melodies work amongst haunting acoustic solos (“In Parting”) to create clever, sophisticated and downright awesome music. Standout tracks include “Absit Omen” and “In Parting”. If life only gives you 9 minutes and 21 seconds, I strongly suggest you listen to “In Parting” to get a taste of what this album is delivering. If you can afford an extra minute and a half let “To Stir the Sea” lead into “In Parting” – brilliant!

    The songs on this album have an uncanny way of building you up, bringing you down, then lifting you up once more and leaving you feeling empowered and invincible. If I were to go off to war, this would most certainly be the album I’d pick to be my soundtrack. It also works to get you pumped about heading off to work early in the morning (I speak from experience).

    Be’lakor got this one just right. If you already know Be’Lakor, then add this one to your collection. Of Breath and Bone is their best album yet.

    If this is the first time you are reading about them, don’t miss this opportunity to hear an amazing album and get behind what is a relatively new band (and one of the better melodeath bands to come from a non Scandinavian country) with a great sound and a big future ahead of them. Your iPod will thank you.

    If you like Amon Amarth, Rotting Christ, In Flames and the like, then add Be’Lakor to your list of favorites. This is definitely an album fans of melodic death metal need to hear.

    For more on Be’Lakor and the new album Of Breath and Bone check out the official Be’lakor website:

    Also check out Apoch’s Metal Review. They have teamed up with Kolony Records and are streaming the whole album from June 1st through to June 8th, so get in there quickly and have a listen!

    Turn the lights off, turn your volume to full, and enjoy!" [Erin 2 Cent]

    Link:
    http://www.steffmetal.com/erin-2-cent-reviews-belakor-of-breath-and-bone/
     
  10. lorenzo_kolony

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    'Of Breath and Bone' rated 8/10 @ Blistering.com!

    "Suckers for melody, but necessarily all forms of melodic death metal we are, a band like Australia’s Be’lakor apparently has the right idea when piling on the harmonies over the course of their third album, Of Breath and Bone. As much as the album is “seen it all before” melodic death metal (shouldn’t it be “heard it all before?”), Be’lakor ends up favoring and pimping out some awfully mesmeric and Scandinavian-derived guitar lines, a lot of which have the tendency to stick in one’s craw for days. When something like that happens, you know you have a winner on your hands.

    The pervasive darkness that oozes from the album’s eight tracks (save for the saccharine opener “Abeyance”) really catches fire on “Fraught,” where a mixture of vintage Katatonia melodies (cue the word “sucker” again) merge with the punchy nature of mid-90’s Dark Tranquillity. Yet Be’lakor doesn’t cop as many Swedish feels as meets the eye, for the grueling “Absit Omen” has a Viking-like attack that would scare Amon Amarth back into their fake vessel.

    A break in the action comes in the form of “To Stir the Sea,” a lush acoustic interlude, while “In Parting” employs a horde of sinewy melodies that leads into a swelling tempo that becomes the album’s definitive highlight. Supplemental numbers such as “The Dream and Waking” and album closer “By Moon and Star” show off Be’lakor’s more traditional melodic death metal side, thus creating a sort of forlorn-meets-Gothenburg feel that frankly, more bands would be best advised to try out.

    The one thing about quality melodies is that when they’re spot-on, they can pretty much work anywhere. Granted, if they were thrust into rap rock, we’d be a little more hesitant to jump onboard, but in the confines of traditional melodic death metal, Be’lakor strikes a lot of the right chords on Of Breath and Bone." [David E. Gehlke]

    Link:
    http://www.blistering.com/fastpage/fpengine.php/templateid/26937/menuid/2/tempidx/4/link/1
     
  11. lorenzo_kolony

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    Spanish fans check this review of BE'LAKOR's new album @ Metalurgia Sonora webzine!

    "Apesar de oriundos dos arredores de Melbourne, Austrália, o som dos Be’lakor é consideravelmente influenciado pelo dark, cold death metal melódico com mistura de sons escandinavos, que por vezes pode ser facilmente confundido com Amon Amarth. Of Breath and Bone é o terceiro trabalho desta jovem e promissora banda australiana, e promete ser um dos grandes álbuns de 2012.

    A abertura do álbum não poderia ser melhor, a faixa Abeyance assume os contornos de épica, com riffs criativos e que nos levam a 8 minutos da mais pura experiência de death metal progressivo, abrindo o disco de forma perfeita e deixando qualquer um rendido à qualidade técnica desta banda. Remnants abre de forma progressiva, com riffs a lembrar o folk, mantendo a coesão original da banda, apesar dos vários elementos melódicos e técnicos que se vão modelando à medida que as faixas vão passando como uma sinfonia técnica que nos deixa com o sangue a ferver até à faixa final, revelando-se uma viagem surreal por dentro dos vocais brutais, metal melodiosamente agressivo e uma qualidade musical e técnica notáveis.

    Em suma, Of Breath and Bone é tudo o que death metal melódico deve ser, colocando a banda num patamar de qualidade de fazer inveja a muitas bandas do género, mostrando ser uma promessa para o metal mundial e afirmou-se, com este álbum, como uma das mais entusiasmantes bandas que ouvi este ano. Certamente que vamos ouvir muitas vezes o nome Be’lakor. " [Gonçalo Girão]

    Link:
    http://www.metalurgiasonora.com/2012/06/belakor-of-breath-and-bone.html
     
  12. lorenzo_kolony

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    8,5/10 @ Crossfire-metal.de! :headbang:

    "From the Land Down Under begrüßen uns Be'Lekor mit episch angehauchten Melodic Death Metal in ihrem mittlerweile dritten Machwerk „Of Breath And Bone“. Der fulminante Opener „Abeyance“ bestätigt die musikalische Ausrichtung, bedingt durch die druckvolle Darbietung in Verbindung mit kraftvollen Growls und einem unverwechselbaren Gespür für Melodie, in eindrucksvoller Art und Weise. Das folgende „Remnants“ bringt zusätzlich noch verspielte Züge. „Fraught“ wartet neben dem bombastischen Intro, auch mit einer guten Instrumentalisierung auf. „Absid Omen“ hingegen besticht durch seinen Abwechslungsreichtum und dem eingängigen Gitarrenspiel. Mit „To Stir The Sea“ fließt ein ruhiges instrumental dargebrachtes Intermezzo ein. Während das 10 Minuten Epos „In Parting“ teilweise auch leicht melancholische Züge, sowie ruhige und treibende Passagen aufweist, kratzt auch das abwechslungsreiche „The Dream And Waiting“, ohne die Spannung zu verlieren, an der zehn Minuten Grenze. Das episch und sehr melodiös startende „By Moon And Star“ schließt durchaus gelungen, dieses bedenkenlos zu empfehlende Album." [Markus Peters]

    Link:
    http://www.crossfire-metal.de/cd-reviews/belakor-of-breath-and-bone/
     
  13. lorenzo_kolony

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    BE'LAKOR 'Of Breath and Bone' - 8/10 @ Undergrounded Webzine!

    "Als ich in der Promo-CD die Jungs von Be`Lakor sah musste ich erstmal schmunzeln. Das sieht mal so gar nicht nach Melodic Death Metal aus, sondern eher wie eine Studentenrock Band für ein Mainstream Festival...aber nix da!

    Die fünf Australier zeigen sich auf ihrem neuesten Output verdammt stark und tight. War schon bei ihrem zweiten Album "Stone's Reach" Begeisterung von allen Seiten zu hören, dürfte es nun mit „Of Breath and Bone“ genauso laufen. Produzent Jens Bogren hat dem Album einen richtig fetten Sound verpasst, den Mix hat Jens Bogren (u.a. OPETH, AMON AMARTH, PARADISE LOST) in seinen Fascination Street Studios erledigt. Stilistisch hat sich im Vergleich zum Vorgänger nicht viel geändert, doch dazu bestand ja nach den Erfolgen kein Anlass.

    Erstaunlich wie heavy ein Album sein kann, auf dem viele Keyboards vorkommen und auch Akustikgitarren auftauchen.
    2010 haben Be`Lakor auf dem Summer Breeze für Aufsehen gesorgt und wurden dafür gleich wieder fürs diesjährige Breeze gebucht. Wer dieses Jahr dort ist, sollte sich also die Jungs nicht entgehen lassen.

    Bin ja sonst kein großer Fan von Melodic Death – aber dieses Album konnte mich eines Besseren belehren. Daumen hoch." [Peppe]

    Link:
    http://undergrounded.de/index.php/reviews/album-reviews/item/358-belakor-of-breath-and-bone
     
  14. lorenzo_kolony

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    8/10 @ Destructive-music.com!

    "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://destructive-music.com/?p=220
     
  15. lorenzo_kolony

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    Check out this video review:

     
    #55 lorenzo_kolony, Jun 26, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2015
  16. lorenzo_kolony

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    New interview with Steve Merry of BE'LAKOR online @ Blistering.com!

    "You're probably not the only one scratching your head as to what a "Be'lakor" is. It's rather unconventional, and this is coming from a scene that routinely gives births to bands who have swiped their names from Tolkien's tomes or Dungeons and Dragons. In the case of this Australian five-piece, their name is taken from the RPG (Role-Playing Game) Warhammer Fantasy, where the character Be'lakor the Dark Master reigned supreme in the game's vast table-top game landscape. We won't go into vast detail about Warhammer Fantasy, but it's along the lines of Dungeons and Dragons, where fantasy and mythical creatures rule the day. Try as you may to poke fun at such gaming, but the people who used to play such games are probably running our country at the moment...

    To the topic at hand, Be'lakor's intrepid brand of melodic death metal is spot-on over the course of their third album, Of Breath and Bone (Kolony Records). With a sound derived from prime-era Dark Tranquillity and various Finnish bands, Be'lakor's striking use of melodies warrants deep inspection, especially songs like "Fraught" and "In Parting," two of the finer melo-death compositions you'll hear all year. The songs are expertly-crafted, creating vast mini-epics without letting things get out of hand. Such a two-fisted approach to this style is reminiscent to the Gothenburg glory days, well before pop and rock elements soiled the spectrum. Such a thing will probably never happen to Be'lakor, and keyboardist Steve Merry was more than uh, "merry" to give Blistering the lowdown...


    Blistering.com: You’ve been fortunate in the sense that since your formation, your lineup has remained intact. How has the original lineup been able to stay together for so long?

    Steve Merry: I'd say a big part of it has been the fact that we were friends before we were a band. This has meant that we've been able to work through any issues more easily. We still hang out and do things outside of our band commitments and have a mutual interest in helping to keep things going smoothly and productively. It also helps that we still have fun and enjoy one another's company.

    Blistering.com: Describe both the working and personal relationship between the band members.

    Merry: The working relationship has evolved over time, and these days we all have pretty clearly defined roles in the band in terms of who is to handle what. We've been able to see who is best suited, for example, to handling money issues, tour bookings, emails, song writing, and so on. We try to share the load as much as possible. The personal relationships have remained quite strong for the reasons outlined above.

    Blistering.com: You made some rather noticeable strides from The Frail Tide to A Stone’s Reach, but Of Breath and Bone is definitely your most mature album to date. When you were pulling the songs together, what was the general feeling amongst the band?

    Merry: Thanks - we also feel that it is probably our most mature album with regard to the song writing. However, I must admit, during the writing phase we were at times unsure of ourselves. This is normal though - we feel this way whenever we write music, and probably moreso now that we are aware of the fact that people will be hoping for a strong album. We have a very systematic approach to writing our songs and bringing the riffs and ideas together as a band, so we were still confident that, just as in the past, we would be able to create something good in the end.

    Blistering.com: How did you hook up with Jens Brogen for the mixing/mastering of the album?

    Merry: We had decided some time ago that we would like to try having the album mixed and mastered by someone a little more removed from our usual circle, and also who had a strong grounding in the genre. Jens seemed a very logical choice, so we emailed him and worked out some arrangements. He was great to work with and needless to say we are really happy with the results of his efforts.

    Blistering.com: This is the second album in a row where you’ve had a fascinating image for your cover art. What draws the band to such fascinating imagery?

    Merry: We like to look for images that capture our imagination. For this latest album (and also for Stone's Reach), when we first saw the images, we found that we were drawn to them but also that they were a little bit unusual or different to what we might have been thinking of. Over the ensuing days and weeks we would find ourselves being more attracted to the image, moving from asking "Can we really use this?" to saying "This image has something about it." Of course, it has also been important to us that the image chosen would reflect some of the moods or ideas on the album.

    Blistering.com: The Be’lakor sound is rooted heavily in melody, so, is it safe to say that without any melody, there wouldn’t be a Be’lakor song?

    Merry: Without a doubt. There are very few genres of music generally that could get away with creating a song that's devoid of melody. Our music is completely based on having a range of interesting and hopefully moving or catchy melodies.

    Blistering.com: Some will instantly peg your melodies as being derived from Gothenburg death metal, but I hear a little more Katatonia and Opeth than most. Is that a safe assumption?

    Merry: Yeah, I feel that we have a wider range of influences than simply Gothenburg metal. People who listen to our stuff will hear that we don't limit the riffs to twin guitar harmonies following the same patterns. Lately our influences seem to have broadened even more, with some non-metal stuff adding to our pool of ideas at times.

    Blistering.com: Tell me about “Fraught.” It’s definitely one of the year’s best melodic metal songs…I can’t get the melodies out of my head. Who is responsible for this number?

    Merry: Thanks, I'm glad you're digging that track. “Fraught” has riffs written by various band members. Three of us, at least, contributed riffs and sections to that song, with further changes and adjustments being made at the whole-band level once the basic structure was in place.

    Blistering.com: What’s the relationship with Kolony Records like? It seems like they have a knack for finding some hidden gems in the underground. Any hopes of moving up to a bigger label?

    Merry: They have been fantastic - very supportive, excellent communicators and hard working. I know that they are always looking for new, promising artists. We have discussed the idea of larger labels in the past, but it would depend entirely on the label, the situation, and so on. There is a lot to be said for being largely an independent band these days when you take into consideration the ways in which the industry has changed over the past ten years.

    Blistering.com: Does the fact you’re based in Melbourne hurt your mobility in terms of doing more shows abroad?

    Merry: It does limit our ability to tour, however the fact that we all work regular jobs and have family/personal commitments means that we are happy to only tour every now and then.

    Blistering.com: Any specific goals for the band in terms of touring once Of Breath and Bone is released?


    Merry: I suppose our main goal would simply be to continue creating music that we enjoy and to gradually build on our fan base.

    Blistering.com: Have you grown tired of having to explain the meaning behind your name?

    Merry: Yes, it's probably fair to say that we have!

    Blistering.com: Finally, what’s on the agenda for the rest of 2012?

    Merry: We're very much looking forward to playing at a couple of festivals in Europe later this year (Summer Breeze fest in Germany and Brutal Assault fest in the Czech Republic). After that I'd imagine it'll be straight back into song writing." [David E. Gehlke]

    Link:
    http://www.blistering.com/fastpage/fpengine.php/templateid/27253/menuid/3/tempidx/5/link/1
     
  17. lorenzo_kolony

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  18. lorenzo_kolony

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    BE'LAKOR (interview + review 4,5/6) featured in the June-July issue (#047) of Zero Tolerance Magazine!

    [​IMG]

    For more info:
    http://ztmag.com/current.html
     
  19. lorenzo_kolony

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    80/100 @ Il Pozzo dei Dannati (Italy)!

    "Avviso ai naviganti: una perturbazione di origine scandinava è arrivata pericolosamente alle coste australiane, scatenando una spaventosa ed improvvisa tempesta di ghiaccio. Strano per l’immenso paese oceanico trovarsi investito da una simile e improbabile situazione atmosferica che risponde al nome di Be’lakor. Nome assolutamente non nuovo su queste pagine, dal momento che ci siamo accorti dell’act australiano in occasione del loro secondo capitolo “Stone’s Reach”, che uscì nel 2009 per la nostrana Kolony Records, che bissa con questo brillante lavoro, quanto di buono fatto in passato. “Of Breath and Bone” prosegue sulla strada della precedente release con un sound che viaggia costantemente su coordinate death progressive, acuendo però in questo caso la componente swedish, sin dall’iniziale “Abeyance”, dove l’influenza dei Dark Tranquillity è assai palese nelle arrembanti linee di chitarra, cosi come pure nell’inizio di “Remnants” o nell’apertura di “In Parting”. Diciamo che la band di Michael Stanne e soci diventa il primo punto di riferimento per il quintetto australiano e sinceramente la cosa non mi disturba affatto, anzi ben venga se questo è il risultato. Ottime le linee di chitarra, sempre molto ricercate e melodiche (fenomenale la linea di “Fraught”, costantemente accompagnata da malinconici tocchi di pianoforte), possente il growling di George, la cui impostazione può ricordare quella del vocalist dei Saturnus e in taluni frangenti (proprio come in questa song), anche il sound più oscuro dei nostri, può rievocare quello dei maestri del death doom danese. Ed ecco quindi emergere anche l’anima doomsters dei cinque ragazzi di Melbourne, anche se poi è il melo death svedese ad esplodere più forte che mai. Non so che cosa sia successo ai nostri eroi australiani, ma di sicuro ha portato un’ulteriore ventata di freschezza alla proposta dei Be’lakor, capaci di proporre anche ritmiche più sognanti come quelle di “Absit Omen”, prima che un’inferocita ritmica in stile Edge of Sanity, prenda in mano le redini del pezzo. Indiavolati, progressivi, melodici, apocalittici, brutali più che mai; questi sono i Be’lakor targati 2012, per nostra somma gioia. Ancora una volta l’Australia dopo Ne Obliviscaris, Aquilus e Germ, partorisce un’altra piccola gemma nel panorama estremo, ad indicare che laggiù, dall’altra parte del mondo, c’è ancora un bel po’ di spazio per potermi stupire.!" [Francesco Scarci]

    Link:

    http://thepitofthedamned.blogspot.it/2012/07/belakor-of-breath-and-bone.html
     
  20. lorenzo_kolony

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    4,5 out of 5 @ Angrymetalguy.com!

    "Be’lakor walks the same dark paths as Omnium Gatherum, Insomnium, and to a lesser extent, Swallow the Sun [Don't forget At the Gates and Opeth - AMG], dooming them to inevitable comparisons to these bands. Fortunately for this Australian band, their third full length album, like their second, can hold its own in such company. Be’lakor takes the standard melodic death metal ingredients – growling vocals, catchy, often beautiful, melodies layered over crushing riffs, the judicious application of blast beats – and blends them into a near-perfect album. The attention to detail even extends to Costin Chioreanu’s gorgeous modification of Gabriel Ferrier’s Chaperon Rouge for the cover art, which evokes something genuinely creepy between the wolf and Red Riding Hood. The unholy twist on a familiar classic in the rich, saturated, dark colors of the Old Masters is the synesthetic equivalent of the music.

    Like a non-dairy Amon Amarth, Of Breath and Bone is loaded with hooks and propulsive, sometimes unsettling, syncopated guitar rhythms, paired with haunting, evocative melodies worthy of Insomnium. Singer George Kosmas doesn’t reach quite the subterranean depths of Omnium Gatherum’s Jukka Pelkonen, but he makes up for it in expressiveness and agility. Cryptic lyrics imply worlds of backstory in the first half with great gothic imagery and epic monsters. The second half includes fully drawn stories of irretrievable loss (“In Parting” and “By Moon and Star”). With discipline worthy of Amorphis, Be’lakor resolutely holds all the individual elements subservient to the whole. Nothing is included simply because it’s cool—every piece is there because it’s what the song needs. Recurring themes within and among the tracks (even those with apparently self-contained stories) build coherence and dramatic tension throughout the entire running time. If I can find anything wrong with Of Breath and Bone (and I’m digging to even come up with this) it’s that some listeners could find this level of consistency constricting. At times, the individual tracks can seem to bleed into each other, leaving the listener with one very long song. I would happily listen to a 57-minute Be’lakor track, so it’s a pretty minor complaint.

    Be'lakor circa 2009The dedication to balance is apparent in the production, too. Neither squeaky clean nor too raw, the sound is thick and dense, allowing each instrument just enough room to breathe. If anyone gets shortchanged, it’s Steven Merry on the keys, who often is not just low in the mix, but missing entirely. When they do bring him out, though, as in the flutey-sounding keyboards on “To Stir the Sea” or the piano on “The Dream and the Waking,” he really shines.

    Wasting no time on introductions, opener “Abeyance” jumps right in with pounding, attention-grabbing drumbeats. About a minute and a half in, clean guitar and a mournful bass line deepen the colors. “Absit Omen” begins more slowly with moody strings before launching into galloping Amon Amarth-style riffage. “To Stir the Sea” is a minute and half of classical guitar – a palate cleanser before the second half, and the point where the album goes from really-fuckin’-good to fuckin’ awesome. “In Parting” starts out with chugging guitars, builds until the vocals come in with a snarl, and never backs off until around 4:50 when classical guitar provides an injection of melancholia before the story thunders to its tragic, violent climax. Drawing in all of the repeating elements from the rest of the album, the cinematic final song, “By Moon and Star,” feels like the closure of a story arc, even while containing a complete story within itself.

    After listening to it almost nonstop for the last two weeks, I’m still finding new things to love in Of Breath and Bone. A standout in a saturated field, Be’lakor has followed the depth and power of their first full length, Stone’s Reach, with a mature album of dark beauty. It rarely surprises, but always satisfies. If you have even a passing interest in melodic death metal, you are going to want this album, and once you have it, you are going to come back to it again and again." [Gemma D]

    Link:
    http://www.angrymetalguy.com/belakor-of-breath-bone-review/
     

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