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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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    Read this new interview with bass player John Richardson @ Lords Of Metal!

    "Now that ’Of Breath And Bone’ has hit the shops and it once again turned into a stunner in progressive death metal style, we were eager to get in contact with the Australian band Be’lakor again. That’s why we sent a couple of questions to our dear antipodeans. These were answered with flair by guitarist John Richardson.

    Congratulations with your third album ‘Of Breath And Bone’! And it is time for our second interview… so people can have an update about what’s going on in the Be’lakor camp… How are you doing and are you satisfied with the outcome of the record?

    Thank you very much. It’s been a long journey but a worthwhile one. We’re all doing well, although we’ve been very busy with launching the new album and all the work that goes with it. We’re very satisfied with the outcome of the record, it came out sounding exactly how we wanted it to. It’s also been very well received by our listeners. We’re very happy.

    In spite of living in Australia, you could finally go to Europe for touring after the release of the former album ‘Stone’s Reach’. Can you tell us about this experience? And please some extra memories on the gig at Summer Breeze 2010 where I attended the show…
    Needless to say, it was a great experience! It was the first time we’d played at a festival that large, or even on a stage that large, so it was quite daunting. Some of our equipment wasn’t really suited to that sort of environment either. One memory that stuck in my mind – beyond the extremely hot temperature – was the glare from the sun making it impossible to read my tuner. I had to re-tune to play From Scythe To Sceptre (I think) and I had no idea whether or not I had done it correctly. Thankfully, it came out sounding ok. But I was very nervous at the time!

    When did you start writing new material for ‘Of Breath And Bone’ and were there things that leap to the eye during this fresh writing process?

    We started writing new material about two years ago. Nothing new really came about from the process – we’d already become accustomed to writing music together from the previous two albums. We tried to maintain high standards and be very discerning with which riffs made it onto the album. In the end, we only included riffs that each member of the band felt were strong.

    I think the album is more homogeneous than the previous ones, while influences from Amon Amarth and Opeth are not so obvious anymore. In other words: you developed more a signature sound of your own. Do you agree on that? What would you say about your musical evolution?
    We’re of the opinion that we have certainly developed our own sound now. For example, the sort of three/four-part melodies/harmonies that we use cannot readily be found in other music. A lot of people are quick to draw comparisons between us and other bands on the basis that we’re melodic and have a melancholy sound, but I think that’s as facile a conclusion as assuming that two technical/brutal death metal bands are the same, or discordant black metal bands are the same. I think people assume that melodic music is, by its nature, more derivative than atonal music, which is illogical.

    Is there a special reason why the album is called ‘Of Breath And Bone’?
    There’s no particular reason, beyond the fact that it ties together many of the album’s concepts.

    I know lyrics often deal with respect for nature and paganism, but what about the lyrical themes on this new album?
    We often write on topics such as mortality, human frailty, acceptance of finality and wonder at the scale of life. These themes are then represented in stories, which we like to present in various settings. Of ‘Breath and Bone’ has done so through the use of fairytale and folktale style lyrics, but not for every song. Other themes that the album deals with are childhood and dreams. This is why the album cover seemed so fitting. For me, the lyrics that I connect with most strongly right now are from the song ‘In Parting’. I wrote that particular set of lyrics and I find that they conjure very strong imagery for me when I listen to the song.

    You could engage famous producer Jens Bogren (Fascination Street Studios) for the mix and mastering, that means an upgrade in the recording process. Can you tell a bit more about that recording process and later, the cooperation with Bogren?
    The recording process was long, laborious and painful (as usual!). It’s also challenging because we had to fit it in with our jobs. We had a few tuning problems which resulted in George having to record all of his rhythm parts twice! That was very difficult. Despite the issues, it was something we all valued. Working with Jens on the mixing and mastering was a pleasure, he is an absolute professional.

    Are there plans for a video clip (although the songs might be too long for that format). Would you consider editing one?
    We have always wanted to create an animated music video, as we feel this is the best way of telling the stories in our music without restriction. We had something lined up in March 2011 but, unfortunately, it fell through. We tend to find music videos that use actors a bit contrived and lame. This isn’t something we want to do with our music. We certainly don’t want to make a “band playing in a warehouse” music video either. If the right artist(s) comes along, we’re still very keen to make an animated music video.

    I read something about an Australian tour in May, but could not find anything on your website. Was it cancelled or delayed? Or did it take place?
    We never had a plan to tour Australia in May, so I think your source was a bit faulty! We’ll be playing our Australian shows in June, starting on the 16th in Melbourne.

    Two European gigs at Summer Breeze and Brutal Assault are confirmed. That’s fine! There should be plans to combine that with other European gigs. How far are you with these plans? Will you play in the Netherlands or Belgium as well?
    We’re very excited to be returning to Europe – we love it! We are doing our best to arrange some other European gigs, but it has proved to be very difficult. This is something we’re still working on – and we’re very open to playing in Holland or Belgium.

    Are there any guests or special instruments on ‘Of Breath And Bone’?
    We had some string musicians come in to play the intros to Absit Omen and By Moon and Star but, unfortunately, we couldn’t get the sound we wanted. In the end we used software. We think it sounds nice, but it would have been much better to use real instruments. This is something we’d like to get right on the next album. We also had Megan Sykes, who is Shaun Sykes’ sister (lead guitarist), play her flute on To Stir The Sea. She also played the flute way back on A Natural Apostasy from The Frail Tide. She did a fantastic job as always.

    Even Agalloch’s Jason Walton wrote a review for you. What did you feel at that moment? Are you in contact with the guys of Agalloch?
    That is correct, Jason Walton wrote a review of The Frail Tide a few years back – although I haven’t seen any recent reviews from him. We had a fair bit of contact with him back then. He was kind enough to give us some advice, which we greatly appreciated as a young and inexperienced band. We haven’t had any contact with Agalloch in recent times though.

    What are the plans for the near future?
    At this stage, we’re busy preparing for our live shows in Australia and our European tour. It has been a very challenging six months for us, as the scale of work and organisation required to produce and launch Of Breath and Bone was beyond anything we’d done before. After we’ve finished playing a bunch of shows, we’re all looking forward to writing music for our fourth album.

    If there is news about something I forgot to cover, feel free to add it here…
    I think we covered everything hehehe. Many thanks Vera. Let us know if you’re going to be at Summer Breeze or Brutal Assault and we’ll grab a beer!" [Vera]

    Link:
    http://www.lordsofmetal.nl/showinterview.php?id=4356&lang=en
     
  2. lorenzo_kolony

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    Haven't read this one yet? It's time to do it now! 'Of Breath and Bone' rated 90/100 @ Loudmag.com!

    "Melbourne’s Be’lakor were faced with quite a task in creating a follow up to their acclaimed 2009 release The Stone’s Reach. This was going to be no easy feat by any means, but they took their time, put their heads down and ended up with their third album Of Breath and Bone.

    As the proceedings begin, you are introduced to the album with "Abeyance", an 8 minute, dark, mid tempo pilgrimage that surges forward like crashing waves driven by lavish guitar rhythms, pulsating double bass, atmospherically charged melodies and vocalist/guitarist George Kosmas’ gutturally demonic growl.

    "Remnants" conveys an almost cinematic feeling like being chased into a dark forest by a rabid monster thirsty for blood, utilizing blackened icy guitars that stab away into the darkness until a segues into a lush, dark acoustic guitar passage before the brooding doom returns to an evil climax. "In Parting" heads into doomier territory while retaining the melodic aspect of the album. "The Dream and the Waking" is reminiscent of Opeth’s "Demon of the Fall" , only with a faster pace driven by Jimmy Vanden Broeck’s dynamic drum performance. "Absit Omen" has an octane-fuelled viking metal sound with Kosmas and fellow guitarist Shaun Sykes unleashing harmonies that would make Amon Amarth proud and the closing track "By Moon and Star" is a miniature progressive opus that borrows elements from all of the proceeding tracks and mixes them to close proceedings with a dark and evil feeling that lingers on into the silence.

    The only criticism of Of Breath and Bone is that does tend to get a tad repetitive at some points and there are some similarities between tracks. But the music is intriguing and darkly vibrant enough to consistently keep the listener’s full attention from beginning to end and it all blends together nicely. The production values are of a world class calibre with Jens Bogren undertaking the mixing and mastering.

    Of Breath and Bone is a solid follow up to their past efforts and Be’lakor prove once again that they are one of the finest melodic death metal exports to come out of Australia, able to go up against the world’s finest without any doubts. Basically, if you like melodic death metal, you will like this." [Sam Radojcin]

    Link:
    http://www.loudmag.com.au/content/belakor-of-breath-and-bone
     
  3. lorenzo_kolony

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    :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship: :worship:

    Today 'Of Breath and Bone', 1 month after its release date, passed quota 1.000 copies sold in Germany (which showed once again to be by far the most receptive market for our releases)! To celebrate the event, all German fans willing to purchase the album @ Kolony Mailorder will get free shipment until Sunday night! If you live in Germany, please click the link below to take advantage of this exclusive offer!

    Link:

    http://www.kolonyrecords.com/store/belakor-of-breath-and-bone-en.html
     
  4. lorenzo_kolony

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    New review online - 9 out of 10 @ Qranq.nl!

    "With the third album from Be’lakor the fans of melodic death metal will be pleased. The Australian outfit were already with their previous albums praised and the praising will only go further and higher with “Of Breath And Bone”.

    Becoming the no. 1 melodic death metal band from Australia is something you don’t achieve easily and maintaining the high grade of their music throughout their albums made them achieve this despite their young age as persons. “Of Breath And Bone” is like a warm bath for the fans, the eight tracks on the album are outstanding quality and filled with melody without loosing it’s heaviness. The songs are quite long sometimes, “In Parting” for example is more than nine minutes long, but due to the dynamic that Be’lakor brings into the songs there isn’t an weak second to be found. And the acoustic parts are the parts that provide enough diversity to keep you interested as a listener next to the melodies.

    Compare them with the intelligence from Insomnium and the brutality from Amon Amarth, the latter also for the sound on the album probable caused by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street studios were also Amon Amarth does record their songs. It’s a minor detail for the moreover excellent production.

    “Of Breath And Bone” is definitely year list material." [Stefan]

    Link:
    http://qranq.nl/2012/07/belakor-of-breath-and-bone/
     
  5. lorenzo_kolony

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    Check out this review, 4,5 / 6 @ Imhotep webzine from Norway!

    "Since the early 1990’s, the Australian extreme metal scene has consistently produced acts worthy of critical acclaim. The avant-garde progressive death metal band Alchemist put the scene on the map with incredible efforts like 1995’s “Lunasphere” and 1997’s “Spiritech”. It’s only natural that a second generation spring forth, intent on pushing parameters into outer limit expression, not held back by the need to ‘fit’ into a certain genre category due to label or promotional pressures.

    Hailing from Melbourne, Australia- the five piece Be’Lakor play a melodic brand of death metal with slightly progressive nuances on this third album “Of Breath And Bone”- even veering into occasional cultural/folk textures such as the ones employed through the guitars on “Fraught”. You’ll have a bevy of twin harmony guitar passages to pour through amongst these 8 songs- even on songs where the haunting keyboards set up the arrangement, leading to the mystical, spacey “Absit Omen” that proves to be one of the mid-album highlights. Guitarist George Kosmas also handles the microphone, spitting out his words with caustic growls and sustained roars, much like the early days of Dark Tranquility or Edge Of Sanity.

    An interesting aspect to Be’Lakor’s musical approach will be their turn on a dime traditional aspects, layering in the cultural, folk, and stair step riffing against a natural death drum part- the best example being “In Parting” which volleys to and fro like a tennis match and features a killer solo section from lead guitarist Shaun Sykes. Stylistically Be’Lakor will not dazzle with overly dramatic technical parts- they instead tend to layer and build their impact through harmonic principles and dynamic dark to atmospheric contrasts.

    An act to pay attention to, as “Of Breath And Bone” brings the essence of melodic death metal back to its core." [Matt Coe]

    Link:

    http://www.imhotep.no/?did=9106046
     
  6. lorenzo_kolony

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    8/10 on Rock Hard Magazine (Greece)!

    "Αυτοί εδώ οι Αυστραλοί είναι μεγάλο παράδειγμα αδικημένης (εμπορικά τουλάχιστον) μπάντας!

    Για όσους δεν τους γνωρίζουν, οι BE’LAKOR είναι μία μπάντα που συνδυάζει το μελωδικό death και όπως αυτό το μάθαμε από την τιμημένη Σουηδία, με τις πιο progressive death και μελωδικές φόρμες συγκροτημάτων όπως οι OPETH, BEFORE THE DAWN και μία αίσθηση Φινλανδίλας (στα πιο groov-άτα και mid-tempo μελωδικά περάσματα). Και το κάνει πάρα πολύ καλά και με προσωπικότητα!

    Το ντεμπούτο τους, “The frail tribe” (2007), είχε κάνει μία αίσθηση στο χώρο, αλλά το επόμενο άλμπουμ τους, “Stone’s reach” (2009) πραγματικά θεωρώ ότι αδικήθηκε πάρα πολύ, καθώς μιλάμε για εξαιρετικό δίσκο! Στην πρώτη ευκαιρία, ακούστε το.

    Το “Of breath and bone” λοιπόν είναι το τρίτο τους άλμπουμ και μπορεί να μην είναι καλύτερο του “Stone’s reach”, αλλά είναι και πάλι σε υψηλά επίπεδα. Έχοντας για frontman τον «δικό μας» ομογενή George Kosmas με τα εξαιρετικά φωνητικά (από τα καλύτερα που κυκλοφορούν στο χώρο) και σύμμαχο μία πολύ καλή παραγωγή, οι BE’LAKOR αποδεικνύουν για ακόμα μία φορά ότι είναι μία μπάντα που πρέπει να ακουστεί! Τα μεγάλα σε διάρκεια κομμάτια τους (αντιεμπορικό μεν, αλλά…) δεν ενοχλούν καθόλου, καθώς είναι τόσες οι εναλλαγές σημείων, ρυθμών και tempo μέσα σε αυτά και τόσο καλά δομημένες που τα κομμάτια «σε κρατάνε». Οι μελωδίες είναι παντού μέσα στο δίσκο και εναρμονίζονται με τα πιο γρήγορα και ακραία σημεία, χωρίς κανένα πρόβλημα. Και το γεγονός ότι σε ένα δίσκο 8 κομματιών δε βρίσκεις ούτε ένα που να πείς αδιάφορο ή μέτριο, μόνο εύκολο δεν είναι στις μέρες μας.

    Οι Αυστραλοί έχουν παντρέψει δύο από τις μεγαλύτες σκηνές του πλανήτη heavy metal, τη Σουηδική και τη Φινλανδική με επιτυχία και συνεχίζουν να το κάνουν εμφατικά και χωρίς να αντιγράφουν. Είναι κρίμα να μη ρίξετε έστω μια «αυτιά» στο “Of breath and bone”. Όσοι τους ξέρετε, γνωρίζετε τι να περιμένετε. Όσοι όχι, και αρέσκεστε σε αυτόν τον ήχο, ευκαιρία να μάθετε μία μπάντα που προσωπικά θα έπρεπε να είναι πιο ψηλά από ότι είναι. Ακούστε για παράδειγμα τα “Abeyance”, “Absit omen” και “The dream and the waking” και θα σας πείσουν. Άντε και σε μία μεγάλη και σοβαρή εταιρία επιτέλους!" [Φραγκίσκος Σαμοΐλης]

    Link:
    http://www.rockhard.gr/index.php?op...cords&catid=37:2011-04-04-12-14-47&Itemid=233
     
  7. lorenzo_kolony

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    New review from Spain - 9 out of 10 @ Pitchline-zine.com!

    "En la mitología freak, Be’lakor, el señor oscuro, fue un demonio que imagino causó estragos en la popular saga de rol “Warhammer”, sin embargo poco más (por no decir nada), es lo que se acerca de su legado, solamente que aquí en el mundo real, un puñado de músicos han decidido rendirle culto a su manera. Así pues paso a introducirlos.

    Pese a la evidente juventud en las filas de los "aussies" y ciertamente pues se formaron en 2004, Be'lakor son ya una institución dentro de la variante melódica más underground del Death Metal, concretamente después de dejar el listón muy alto tras la publicación, tres años atrás, de su genial ‘Stone’s Reach’. Este año pues ha visto la luz su continuación, titulada ‘Of Breath And Bone’ a través de los italianos Kolony Records, aunque quizá su discografía en el continente europeo todavía sea poco visible. Referirse a Be'lakor y tener que hacer una comparación con un grupo similar no es tarea fácil. Sin embargo, creo que la mayor similitud que les podemos achacar, sería con los finlandeses Omnium Gatherum, ya sea por la evidente similitud vocal entre George Kosmas y Jukka Pelkonen, o por el patrón que utilizan a la hora de crear sus temas; largos, ocasionalmente densos y de corte progresivo, inundados por riffs a la par rápidos que solísticos, dando especial preferencia a estos últimos.

    Quisiera hacer un breve hincapié en el apartado progresivo ya que a mi juicio, los australianos se han lanzado al barro esta vez, no queriendo repetir la fórmula quizá demasiado lineal, de sus anteriores obras (con ello no quiero decir que sus dos anteriores discos sean malos, mis tiros van por las palabras "tradicionales" y "oscuros" respecto a ellos), así pues, el resultado de ello se ve reflejado en ‘Of Breath and Bone’ con cortes tan exquisitos como "Fraught", con un riff prácticamente invariable, ráfagas puntuales y un fondo melódico acentuado ligeramente por un piano. Mientras arriba, tanto "Remnants" como la inicial "Abeyance" si son un guiño al patrón más clásico de los australianos, más directas si cabe y menos épicas que "Fraught", oscuras e incluso con un punto trágico en el caso de la primera.

    Tras una instrumental "To Stir The Sea", cuya guitarra acústica hace clara alusión a la cultura mediterránea, presente tanto aquí como en la lírica por parte de Kosmas, un riff "in crescendo" da paso a la genial "In Parting", que sirve de abertura a una segunda mitad en la cuál se aprecia mejor la clara evolución que han dado Be'Lakor respecto a ‘Stone’s Reach’, al tener la melodía mucho mayor protagonismo, cambios de ritmo fluyendo con total naturalidad, emanando pasajes ambientales con un punto acústico y un piano nuevamente a modo de aditivo. “By Moon And Star” cierra el disco mezclando aires medievales, partes más rápidas y un intermedio más ambiental, con subidas y bajadas constantes.

    Dejando de lado el buen trabajo de Costin Chioreanu (Mayhem, Ava Inferi), con el apartado gráfico, me queda apuntar que Be´lakor han contado con la supervisión de Jens Bogren, en los Fascination Street Studios suecos, (Opeth, Paradise Lost y un largo etcétera), lo cuál se resume en un sonido claro, limpio y equilibrado, dejando cada detalle al descubierto y haciendo justicia a un disco sin pegas. Sólido, variado; bello y demoledor a la vez, son los adjetivos que se me ocurren para describir este ‘Of Breath And Bone’, realmente un golpe sobre la mesa de una banda que confío pronto ocupe el lugar que le corresponde." [The Moor]

    Link
    http://www.pitchline-zine.com/reviews.item.php?id=002443
     
  8. lorenzo_kolony

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    14 out of 15 @ Myrevelations.de!

    "Man sagt ja gemeinhin, dass eine Band mit dem dritten Album zeigt, wo es hingeht. Dass es so in etwa die Grenze ist, ob eine Band weiterhin ihre Daseinsberechtigung hat, oder einfach wieder in der Versenkung verschwinden wird.
    Wenn dies das Kriterium für die Australier von BE'LAKOR ist, dann kann man der Band eine goldene Zukunft voraussagen. Was die Truppe auf ihrer neuen Veröffentlichung "Of Breath And Bone" anbietet, ist der absolute Hammer. Das letzte Mal war ich so eingenommen von einer Platte, als ich das Precambrian-Album der Berliner The Ocean gehört habe. Und daher weiß ich auch jetzt schon, dass der kommende Nachfolger von "Of Breath And Bone" niemals der Erwartungshaltung standhalten kann. Aber wir haben ja so gesehen dann auch noch ein paar Jahre, bis wir uns mit dieser Frage beschäftigen müssen.
    War ich schon recht begeistert von dem Vorgänger "Stone's Reach", so haben BE'LAKOR mit ihrem neuen Rundling alles getoppt. Zu Anfang war die Angst groß, dass das Album zu schnell tot gehört wird. Man kann aber einfach nicht anders, als sich das Teil immer und immer wieder anzuhören. Zuviel gibt es bei jedem neuen Durchlauf zu entdecken. Die Melodien, die die Gitarren hier immer wieder ausbreiten, sind nicht nur auf dem kompletten Album, sondern allein in jedem einzelnen Song schon mehr als überwältigend. Es würde allein reichen, einen Song als Blaupause für die anderen Lieder zu besprechen, aber das würde dem Ganzen überhaupt nicht gerecht werden. Zwar gibt es in allen Songs markante Riffs und diese Tempowechsel, aber jeder Song verbreitet dabei seine ganz eigene Stimmung. Jeder Track lässt den Zuhörer immer wieder in ganz bestimmte Emotionen versinken. Mit diesen Emotionen wird durch die vielen verschiedenen Riffs und eben durch die bestimmt angeordneten Tempowechsel auch immer wieder gespielt. Die Band beweist ein unglaubliches gutes Gespür dafür, wann das Tempo zu drosseln ist, wann wieder angezogen werden soll, wann man welche Melodie verwendet und wie man diese im richtigen Moment erweitert oder ummodelliert.
    Mit "Of Breath And Bone" haben BE'LAKOR hier ein absolutes Melodic Death Metal Juwel geschaffen. In meinen Augen DIE Platte 2012 bisher. Und ich gebe auch nur deshalb 14 von 15 Punkten, da ich mir noch ein wenig Luft nach oben lassen möchte, falls es der Band gelingt, selbst das noch mal zu toppen." [Marc Fischer]

    Link:
    http://www.myrevelations.de/index.p...eviews&submodule=review_detail&reviewid=10403
     
  9. lorenzo_kolony

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    4 out of 5 @ Brutalism.com!

    "'Of Breath And Bone' is the third effort from Australian Melo-death outfit Be'lakor. Following a similar path of previous albums, the band still sounds like a combination of Scar Symmetry meets Dark Tranquillity with the growling vocals (no clean ones though) and the intesity of the riffs which balances between Prog (due to acoustic sections) and Metalcore and Power Metal with touches of Death Metal. Tracks like "Fraught" have a wonderful contrast between the evil sounding vocals and yet the upebeat, inspiring tone of the music that surrounds them which will certainly live up to Melo-death fans' expectations perfectly. Even the brief acoustic "To Stir The Sea" includes some nice touches and serves as the album interlude for those who may consider the intensity of the music a bit too much to constantly listen to. And that is a bit of a downfall of the album: the intensity of the monotony of the music at times.

    While Melo-death fans will love the musical arrangement of tracks like "The Dream And The Waking," for the average listener they have probably been introduced to the genre through Swedish Gothenburg acts like In Flames, Soilwork, and Dark Tranquillity, all who at this point have evolved to almost more of a Modern Metal/ Alt Melo Death type of music with plenty of clean vocals and ambient sections. Be'lakor certainly fulfills the ambient and melodic parts but as far as the vocals go they can eventually sound like a one trick pony with the monotone of the bellow. If one can stand such a style for long periods of time (some tracks can last up to nine minutes) then there shouldn't be a problem at all. Eight to nine minutes is quite a bit to sit through, but Be'lakor do their best to keep the music constantly changing so one cannot play track one and then eight and think they are hearing the exact same thing and feel they can afford to skip it. Crushing, beautiful, inspriring... these are the things that describe 'Of Breath And Bone' and it is certainly worth looking into for those who love the grunt despair in the vocals but aren't quite looking for a Doom laden atmosphere and seek something a bit more upbeat, but still ferocious." [devilmetal747]

    Link:
    http://www.brutalism.com/content/belakor-of-breath-and-bone
     
  10. lorenzo_kolony

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    7,5 out of 10 @ Myamn.com.au webzine!

    "Be’lakor continues their excellence in melodic death metal for the third album with Of Breath and Bone. Riding off of the immense success of Stone’s Reach, Be’lakor has used this album to consolidate their signature melodeath sound and put forward yet another excellent album.

    Of Breath and Bone is yet another excellent melodeath album from these giants, the signature sound of the constant power chord based rhythm and the sweet melodies of the lead guitar and piano once again return to confirm that Be’lakor has well and truly found their sound. This doesn’t always work in their favour however, there’s a sense of repetitiveness that really wasn’t there in their previous albums, Be’lakor’s sound has definitely matured but it feels like although each of the songs on Of Breath and Bone are great, the whole album put together doesn’t have the variety that Frail Tide or Stone’s Reach did. There’s certainly a better mix of the acoustic and dirty sections that they used in Stone’s Reach but each dirty section doesn’t really do anything to separate itself from the next, the chords and melodies are often similar and there’s really not a lot that highlights any one song out from the rest.

    Of Breath and Bone really is a great album, and I highly recommend it for any fan of melodeath, but personally I hold Stone’s Reach in high regard as the greatest melodeath album ever written, and it’s that that makes it hard for me to sit and listen to Of Breath and Bone without comparing everything I hear back to its younger brother. What Of Breath and Bone does mean to me and any fellow Be’lakor die-hards is that Be’lakor have found a sound that suits them perfectly and I really look forward to what they can do with that now, but as excellent as this album is, I know that when I look at my CD stack I’m going to grab my copy of Stone’s Reach and wait out what Be’lakor do with their now solidified sound." [Jake Ewings]


    Link:

    http://www.myamn.com.au/index.php/en/albums/item/328-belakor-of-breath-and-bone
     
  11. lorenzo_kolony

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    8,7 out of 10 @ Metalholic.co!

    "For the last decade, the world has slowly experienced a deluge of Metal. In addition to its return to (relatively) mainstream popularity, Metal has also seen an explosion in sub-genres, comparable to no other genre in history. With such a sensory overload, the majority of metal bands bombard their listeners with all the subtlety and nuance of being beaten with an aluminum trash can lid. Amongst the cacophony it can be nearly impossible to distinguish oneself as something fresh and different. The great thing about Be’lakor is that they can do exactly that.

    The Australian progressive melodic death metal emperors are back! Be’lakor’s new album Of Breath and Bone has managed to catch pretty much everyone’s eye. And this is not the first time; the band’s first two albums: The Frail Tide and Stone’s Reach made so many waves in the international scene that in no time, these guys were on the list of top melodic death metal bands along with giants like At The Gates, Arch Enemy, In Flames, etc.

    The band consists of George Kosmas on vocals and guitars, Shaun Sykes on guitar, Jimmy Vanden Broeck on drums, Steven Merry on keyboard, and John Richardson on bass. The band knows exactly what has to be done to make a proper melodic death metal album. They prove their prowess on the album with the right mix of both melodic as well as extreme elements which never makes the album boring or monotonous even once despite the lengthy songs. Brutal vocals, unforgettable melodies, “headbangable” riffs, powerful bass lines and earth-shattering drumming gives rise to Of Breath and Bone! One of the important aspects of this wonderfully composed album is the creative work done by Steven Merry on keyboards. He plays a very important role throughout the album adding to the melancholic and depressive nature in many songs. The diversity in the songs is the trademark of the band; showing the band still has stuck to its roots. A great follow-up to Stone’s Reach; Of Breath and Bone is probably the best work by the band to-date.

    Tracks like “Fraught”, “Abeyance”, “The Dream and the Waking” and “By Moon and Star” clearly show the extreme level of song writing, brilliantly arranged and structured which surely makes this album a true delight. The aggressiveness of George’s vocals accompanied with John’s insane bass guitar playing and Jimmy’s drumming balances the depth and melancholy of Shaun’s melodies and Steve’s morbid keyboards! Honestly there is no need to describe every song in particular, as each song stands by itself giving you a taste of emotional, humming melodic death metal.

    The result is an album that feels much darker, with well written lyrics, whose machismo attitude permeates this album even more than the last. It’s very tough to find a single boring moment throughout the album, making this one of the best melodic death metal albums ever heard in 2012! The heavy and polished production only heightens the Godliness of this album; the credit for which goes to producer Jens Bogren (Kreator, Amon Amarth, Opeth). This is an album that you cannot get out of your mind. It’s truly a memorable album, one which would maybe inspire the masses of young metalheads in the future to pursue this style of heavy metal. A mandatory listen for all melodic death metal fans." [Owais Vitek Nabi ]

    Link:
    http://metalholic.co/cd-review-belakor-of-breath-and-bone/
     
  12. lorenzo_kolony

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    8,5 out of 10 @ Chroniclesofchaos.com!

    "Upon my first exposure to their 2009 album _Stone's Reach_, I was thinking to myself that this band needs more time, and I was rewarded for that. Australia's Be'lakor had somehow mustered up an hour long melodic death metal album in a time when the integrity of the whole sub-genre was being questioned. Did they revive it? Did they lead it into new territory? Of course the recent contributions of Omnium Gatherum and Insonmium shall not be cast aside, but there's something about Be'lakor that makes their brand of death metal exceptional. The music is indeed melodic, but not in the bland sense of a typical riff with a catchy melody played next to it for the sake of good measure. There's a lot of sensibility in their choice of notes, when they need to be played and how many times they need to be played.

    So three years after their highly lauded sophomore effort we have Be'lakor's third full-length _Of Breath and Bone_; another vibrant compendium of death metal that shines as a beacon of light for the entire sub-genre. Without venturing much into technicalities, I'd say that their captivating melodies do a great job of elevating the intelligent guitar arrangements, sturdy drumming and thick vocals. There's a general sense of depth to the production of the whole album. The drums are comfortably on the low end of the pitch and the guitars swing ever so swiftly from soaring melodies to beefy riffs with ease. All these elements, in addition to some very intelligent keyboards, provide a perfect background for the vocals which are growled with brute force.

    The eight tracks comprising _Of Breath and Bone_ are all between six and nine minutes, save for the gloomy yet beautiful ninety second interlude "To Stir the Sea". There are repetitions in almost every track, but none of that is superfluous. Progress is accumulated in each repetition so that ideas can lend way to other ideas through a smooth transition. The way "Abeyance" just bleeds into "Remnants" without any awkwardness is one example of Be'lakor's fastidiousness as to how they want their album to develop. "Fraught" is an explosive piece with pummeling 6/4 riffs, deep growls and neck breaking transitions, while "In Parting" will project a more dark and haunting atmosphere.

    These are but simple snippets of what you'll get to experience as you sink your teeth into this brilliant Be'lakor album. _Of Breath and Bone_ has all the essential melodic death metal elements that put any band at the danger of sounding generic. But where many other bands have reached an impasse, these five young men from Melbourne have put together their collective heads to rise once more above the slums of metal mediocrity and send shockwaves through the underground metal world." [Aly Hassab El Naby]

    Link:
    http://www.chroniclesofchaos.com/reviews/albums/2-6519_belakor_of_breath_and_bone.aspx
     
  13. lorenzo_kolony

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    9 out of 10 @ Myglobalmind.com!

    "As a born and bred Aussie, and somebody that his lived in Melbourne all of my life, it gives me an immense sense of pride when a hometown band starts getting some world-wide interest. Ever since the rest of the world discovered Melbourne Melodic Death Metal group BE’LAKOR they have gathered the kind of respect and interest that any band would wish for. Their previous album STONE’S REACH was a brilliant piece of work that is to this day classed as one of the benchmark releases in the genre. As well as the listeners heralding STONE’S REACH as a masterpiece it also o gathered much critical acclaim, averaging a 9/10 review score across internet and print.

    Due to this, their latest album OF BREATH AND BONE is one of the most hotly anticipated releases of 2012 and one of the most awaited and desired albums the Melodeath genre has ever had, a very fine feat really, but that’s a massive amount of pressure on a band that are still relatively early in their career. And wouldn’t you know it, these magnificent bastards were actually up to the task! For me personally OF BREATH AND BONE didn’t have quite the same impact as STONE’S REACH, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still a top-shelf piece of work.

    In certain aspects this new album does share some similarities to its predecessor and almost feels like it could be classed as STONE’S REACH PT. 2. So on one hand you could class that as a slight negative, but really, on the other hand there’s nothing wrong with a little bit more of something that is so bloody good to start with. The bands trademark Progressive and dark sound is in full swing here and while there is enough accessibility and melodic goodness available here to please even the most demanding fans of the genre, it’s actually the progressive and moody aspects of the album that make it that little bit more special than most releases in the genre. BE’LAKOR do the basics very, very well and give themselves a strong backbone to build from. It’s a very riff oriented album too, with certain songs just throwing out riff after riff, but somehow the band manage to stick them all together and create soundscapes that are structured to a degree but always keep the listener wondering what’s going to happen next.

    Even during the eight minute running time of opening track ABEYANCE, the band show that they are a cut above most bands in the Melodeath game these days. This song alone has about four separate sections, each one offering up something different and each one as good as the last. REMNANTS is brilliant too, and maybe even the high-point of the album, it has a dark gothic tone and features some crazy guitar work throughout. FRAUGHT follows the mood set by the previous track but this one goes a little bit deeper into the progressive territory. ABSIT OMEN once again is a ripper of a track that has an epic almost operatic feel to it and gee-whiz, the riffs here are once again just awesome. TO STIR THE SEA is a quick little acoustic interlude that’s nothing special in itself, but it does do a really good job of breaking up the album and getting you prepared for the last three epic tracks that all sit at around the nine minute mark each. The last three tracks IN PARTING, THE DREAMING AND THE WAKING and BY MOON AND STAR actually work well as a sort of suite as they all share a similar doomy vibe that really brings the emotive and dark side of the band’s sound out to the forefront.

    While OF BREATH AND BONE may not quite be as breathtaking as STONE’S REACH, it’s still easily the best Melodic Death Metal album of the year and yet another album that should be considered as among the best the genre has seen. Obviously bands like IN FLAMES and AT THE GATES will be forever classed as gods of the genre, after three stellar albums there’s no reason that BE’LAKOR shouldn’t be looked at as at least equals, they’re certainly by far the most exciting band the genre has at the moment. BUY THIS ONE NOW!!!" [ZeeZee]

    Link:
    http://myglobalmind.com/2012/08/15/belakor-of-breath-and-bone-review/
     
  14. lorenzo_kolony

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    8/10 @ Greekrebels.gr!

    "Οι Be’Lakor πήραν τα’ όνομα τους από τον δαίμονα (Dark Master), του επιτραπέζιου παιχνιδιού που συνήθιζαν να παίζουν, Warhammer Fantasy. Θεωρούνται η νούμερο ένα μπάντα στην Αυστραλία και το μελωδικό death metal, παρ’ όλο το νεαρό της ηλικίας των μελών της. Σχηματίσθηκαν το 2004, αλλά μέχρι το 2005 δεν είχαν παίξει σε συναυλίες. Το 2007 οι Be’Lakor κυκλοφόρησαν το πρώτο τους άλμπουμ «The Frail Tide», που πήρε καλές κριτικές γενικότερα κι ένα χρόνο μετά υπογράφουν στην Descent Productions και το επανακυκλοφορούν σε digipack έκδοση. Το 2009 πραγματοποιούν μια εθνική περιοδεία και υπογράφουν με την Prime Cuts Music και κυκλοφορούν το δεύτερο τους δίσκο, «Stone’s Reach» το οποίο πήρε πολύ καλές κριτικές και την πρώτη θέση στον Best Melodeath / Gotenburg Metal Album διαγωνισμό της Metal Storm. Τέλη του ίδιου χρόνου, ξανά αλλάζουν εταιρεία και μετακομίζουν στην Kolony Records. Τον προπέρσινο Μάιο άνοιξαν για τους Turisas στην Αυστραλιανή περιοδεία τους και λίγο καιρό αργότερα, για τους Alestorm στην Μελβούρνη, καθώς επίσης έπαιξαν και στο Summer Breeze Open Air Festival στη Γερμανία. Το 2012 ετοίμασαν νέο δίσκο και το τρίτο full length σε σειρά με τίτλο «Of Breath And Bone”. Θα κυκλοφορήσει μέσα στον Ιούλιο και περιέχει οχτώ μελωδικές κομματάρες, διάρκειας πενήντα έξι λεπτών. Όσοι γουστάρουν μπάντες τύπου παλιότερων Amorphis, μελωδικών Amon Amarth και ειδικότερα Barren Earth, In Mourning, Insomnium και Noumena, θα το αγαπήσουν. Κλασσικά «βοθρέ» φωνητικά και μελωδικές κιθάρες / πολλά solos στην πρώτη γραμμή, ρυθμικά τύμπανα και μπάσο. Αν άκουγα το cd χωρίς να ξέρω την καταγωγή των Be’Lakor, θα έλεγα ότι είναι από Σκανδιναβική χώρα. Μελαγχολήστε και ταξιδέψτε ελευθέρα, λοιπόν! Η μίξη και η παραγωγή, έγιναν από τον Jens Bogren στα Fascination Street Studios (Opeth, Paradise Lost, Amon Amarth), στη Σουηδία. Το artwork είναι δουλειά των Costin Chioreanu και Twilight 13 Media (Mayhem, Aura Noir, Ana Inferi). Toν Αύγουστο οι Be’Lakor θα παίξουν στο Summer Breeze Open Air (Ολλανδία) και στο Brutal Assault Open Air (Τσεχία), ενώ θ’ ανακοινωθούν κι άλλα shows στην υπόλοιπη Ευρώπη." [Άγγελος Kilmistered}

    Link:

    http://www.greekrebels.gr/component...lakor--of-breath-and-bone-kolony?directory=60
     
  15. lorenzo_kolony

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    New interview by Spain's Pitchline-zine.com! Check it out!

    ***

    How are you doing, Be'lakor? Greeting from all the staff and readers at Pitchline Zine, and thank you very much for your time answering our questions. By the way, congratulations for your third album. How are things going at Melbourne? Here in Spain, autumn is quietly coming.

    Greetings! We’re doing very well, thank you for your kind words. Melbourne is slowly marching towards summer, which is unfortunate. It gets extremely hot down here – often over 40 degrees celcius. Hope you’re in for a pleasant winter in Spain.

    It's been a while since the release of “Stone's Reach”, and you're finally back with a new work titled “Of Breath and Bone”. Are you happy with the received feedback by now? We can see that the majority of reviews are positive, following the second album's tendency.

    Yes, we’re very pleased at the response to “Of Breath and Bone”. It’s often difficult to predict how people will react, and I certainly think expectations were a lot higher after “Stone’s Reach”. We’re quite relieved, as we seem to have met them (by and large)!

    Ok, sticking to the musical part of “Of Breath and Bone”, I'd say it is quite more complex and melodic than the previous album, featuring longer and more arranged songs. Do you agree on this? Certain reviews think (and I do too) that certain comparison to Finnish band Omnium Gatherum may be drawn. What do you think on this? Do you know that band?

    I certainly agree that “Of Breath and Bone” is more complex, faster and more melodic than “Stone’s Reach”. I think we just had a lot of aggressive melodies we wanted to get out, so we didn’t exercise as much restraint as the previous album. I am familiar with Omnium Gatherum – they are a great band – but I don’t think we sound very much like them.

    Apart from that, I's say that vocals enjoy a bigger place now, as well as keyboards. Do you agree on this? What do you think about it?

    I would agree that vocals occupy a larger space within the music. This is mainly due to Jens Bogren’s mix, I think. He is excellent at bringing out the full potential in extreme vocals. As for keyboards, my estimation is that they’re about the same as on “Stone’s Reach”.

    Who did come with the idea of including flutes on the instrumental “To Stir the Sea”? They add a very sensitive and beautiful folk feeling to it, as a bridge to the following song, “In Parting”.

    I can’t recall who came up with the idea – I think it was a band-wide consensus. We’d previously used Megan (our lead guitarist’s sister) to play flutes on “The Frail Tide”, and it was something we were very pleased with. Everyone thought it would fit perfectly for “To Stir the Sea” and I think it worked well.

    A mandatory question: how did the writing and recording sessions for this album go? At sight of the quality of “Of Breath and Bone”, I guess you took your time.

    We don’t rush our songwriting at all – each song gets assembled quite slowly and, if at any point we feel the music isn’t the best we can do, we throw it out and start again. The recording sessions are a little bit different, because you pay for time in the studio. We had to push ourselves quite hard to get the album done within a month. It was an exhausting process – as all album recordings usually are!

    Your line-up has not suffered any change though the pass of time, so I guess your writing process stays the same. Has that fact influenced you at writing your music?

    I think it has really improved our song writing. We are all very familiar with one another – our strengths, weaknesses and how we work together. This lets us decide as a group which direction we want to move in, and it lets us implement it without too many difficulties.

    By they way, what other bands have influenced you?

    It differs from member to member, but some of my favourites are Opeth, Dissection, Emperor, early In Flames & Soilwork, Pink Floyd, Queen, Nazxul, King Crimson and At The Gates.

    Sticking to the album, once again Jens Borgen's name appear along with his Fascination Street Studios at managing the album sound. Looks like your satisfied with his work. Do you like the overall touch he has put on the album?

    We’re very pleased with Jens’ work – he was very easy to work with and we think the album turned out great.

    I'll go back to the writing process again: what are Be'lakor's lyrics about? I can clearly see some Greek mythology, I guess there is Hellene blood pumping through your veins! But you also write about other subjects, Nature for example.

    We like to write about any idea or concept which we find interesting. We will often explore those ideas by telling a story, rather than directly – and you’re quite right that a few of these have been influenced by Greek mythology. Rather than a specific interest in Greece itself, this is driven by the fact that Greek stories were often driven by the same themes that we wish to explore. These include the nature of reality, death and the often false assumptions that underpin life.

    Why did you choose Costin Choreanu (Mayhem, Ava Inferi) to put an image to the album? Did you previously know his work?

    Costin was recommended to us by our label Kolony Records. We were familiar with his previous work however, and greatly admired his artistic skill. We’ve continued to work with him on several of our tshirt designs and he has been excellent.

    And by the way, what does the cover mean? Which Gabriel Ferrier's work does it belong to? Did you have any copyright problem to use it?

    The album cover has a dark and menacing feel to it , but also a splash of colour, which worked well with the music on the album (seemingly very dark but also with colourful and melodic moments). The art is very old – it’s a painting by Gabriel Ferrier which we saw on the internet and found ourselves becoming more and more drawn to as time went on.
    There were no issues with copyright, as a creator of a painting under the French civil code enjoys proprietary copyright for a period of 70 years following his death. As Ferrier died in 1914, this period expired in 1994 and his work is in now in the public domain.

    This is a quite personal question, your last album is dedicated to the memory of Dimitris Haitidis. What importance does this individual have in order to be featured here?

    He was a close family friend of a band member who passed away recently – we intended the album to honour his life.

    It's been more or less 3 years since you moved to Kolony Records. Are you happy with Lorenzo's work? Will you work again with him on the next release or will you look for a bigger label?

    We are very happy with Lorenzo and Kolony Records – he is extremely professional, works hard and honest. It is difficult for us to say how things will turn out in the future, but we will always be interested in working with Lorenzo where we can.

    On another subject, this summer you have come to Europe, both to German festival Summer Breeze and to Czech one Brutal Assault (we got up very early to this one!). Please tell us about your experience here and your opinion on the overall European metal circuit.

    We absolutely loved it. Coming from Australia, where metal is very small, to Europe, where so many people seem to enjoy it, is a great experience. Playing before such large audiences is still quite new to us, but we managed to keep our nerves in control! We would certainly like to return soon.

    Recently, a lot of bands from your country (which IMO enjoys a high quality scene) have been praised on this webzine: Mournful Congregation, Ne Obliviscaris, Inverloch, yourselves, or more recently The Slow Death, just to point some examples out on the extreme scene. I would like to ask you about the promotion matter in your country, in your case through Rockstar Records...

    I think you’re correct in identifying that Australia has a very strong metal scene at the moment. Unfortunately, there is very little promotion within Australia. This isn’t due to Rockstar Records (which is an excellent label), or any other label for that matter, but simply due to the fact that metal is underground in Australia. The mainstream music scene either ignores metal or looks upon it as a bit of a joke. Given the poor quality of mainstream music here, that’s fine with us!

    I have not yet listened to “The Frail Tide”, and I've been told it was self-released. Have you thought about re-releasing it again for those of us who have recently discovered you? How would you describe your debut album?

    I think “The Frail Tide” is a much more simple album than our next two. It is also significantly slower and more doomy. The band certainly prefers our more recent material, but I think every band feels that way about their music! We’ve toyed with the idea of re-releasing it, but it doesn’t look like we’ll be doing it at any point soon.

    What are the short/medium term plans for Be'lakor? Will you keep touring to promote this new album? Is it difficult to perform gigs outside your country, like you have just done?

    Our plans are to gig extensively within Australia for the next six months and then, most likely, take a break in order to begin writing our next album. We like to either focus on songwriting or live performance at any given time to ensure we give it our full attention. It’s extremely difficult for us to play overseas – we need to take leave from work and pay for our airfares (which are very expensive). For this reason, we don’t get to do it very often.

    That's all from Pitchline. Cheers to everyone and thanks for your time answering our questions.

    Thank you very much for your thoughtful questions and support, much appreciated! [The Moor]

    Link:
    English: http://www.pitchline-zine.com/interviews.english.php?id=000320
    Spanish: http://www.pitchline-zine.com/interviews.item.php?id=000320
     
  16. lorenzo_kolony

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    The latest issue (#10) of Ukraine's Atmosfear Magazine features exclusive interviews with Be'lakor - check it out!

    [​IMG]

    Link:
    www.atmosfear.com.ua
     
  17. lorenzo_kolony

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    4,5 out of 5 @ Stormbringer.at!

    "Dass aus Australien nicht nur Kängurus, AC/DC und Black Thrash kommen, ist den meisten Leuten bewusst. Dass eine authentische Melodic Death Metal Combo von dort hailt, ist dann aber doch eine Überraschung – vor allem wenn die Jungs dann noch wirklich qualitativ hochwertige Mucke produzieren (siehe auch das Review von Kollege Berni zum Vorgänger „Stone’s Reach“). BE’LAKOR heißt die Wundertüte aus Melbourne, und eines vorweg: „Of Breath And Bone“ ist die Melodic Death Platte des Jahres. (War zwar in diese Genre ein eher schwaches Jahr, aber das soll den Verdienst der Jungs nicht schmälern)

    Schon die ersten Takte von „Of Breath And Bone“ machen deutlich, dass BE’LAKOR ihr Handwerk verstehen. Killer-Riffs und –Melodien, Klasse Breaks, guter (wenn auch nicht überragender) Gesang – hier passt das ganze Paket. Musikalisch bewegt sich der Fünfer aus Melbourne zwischen so bekannten Namen wie DARK TRANQUILLITY (an die einige Melodien erinnern) auf der einen und AMON AMARTH (die für die Aggressivität auf der Scheibe Paten stehen, vor allem im zweiten Teil der Platte) auf der anderen Seite – also ein eher schwedisches Paket. Hinzu kommt noch ein Schuss finnischer Melancholie (INSOMNIUM), das die ganze Mixtur abrundet.

    Im Vergleich zu den oben genannten Bands sind die Songs von der Struktur meist komplexer gehalten – bis auf das Instrumental „To Stir The Sea“ bewegen sich die Liedlängen zwischen sechs und fast zehn Minuten. Das macht beim ersten Hören das Album etwas schwerer zugänglich, hat aber den Vorteil, dass sich beim mehrmaligen Hörgenuss immer mehr und immer neue Details offenbaren, was die Halbwertszeit des Teils im CD-Player erheblich verlängert.

    Was BE’LAKOR im Vergleich zu ihren skandinavischen Vorbilder noch fehlt, sind die unvergesslichen Hooks und Refrains, die aus normalen Songs Hymnen machen. Kracher wie „Abeyance“, das an alte DARK TRANQUILLITY erinnernde „Fraught“ oder das von AMON AMARTH inspirierte „In Parting“ sind Lieder aus der Oberliga, denen noch das letzte Quäntchen zum Meisterstück fehlt. Trotz dieser kleinen Mängel ist „Of Breath And Bone“ ohne Vorbehalt zu empfehlen – allein der Beginn der Scheibe mit „Abeyance“ oder „Remnants“ ist das Geld wert. (Was das Rotkäppchen auf dem Cover soll, bleibt allerdings rätselhaft…)" [Luka]

    Link:

    http://www.stormbringer.at/reviews.php?id=8782
     
  18. HeavyGabry

    HeavyGabry A poser in disguise

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    Davvero intriganti, un giorno o l'altro dovrò prendere qualcosa! :headbang:
     
  19. lorenzo_kolony

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    Ciao Gabry, se già non lo sai tutti gli album dei Be'lakor sono disponibili in free-streaming su Bandcamp e Spotify! :headbang:
     
  20. lorenzo_kolony

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    Brescia, Italy
    'Of Breath and Bone' by BE'LAKOR has been voted 'Best Melodeath / Extreme Power / Gothenburg Metal Album' at the Metal Storm Awards 2013!

    Link:
    http://www.metalstorm.net/awards/

    [​IMG]
     

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