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Be'lakor - Stone's Reach [CD 2009/2010]

Discussion in 'Kolony Records' started by jpmuikku, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. jpmuikku

    jpmuikku Member

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    Be'lakor - Stone's Reach CD (KR006CD)

    [​IMG]

    Tracks:
    01. Venator
    02. From Scythe To Sceptre
    03. Outlive The Hand
    04. Sun's Delusion
    05. Held In Hollows
    06. Husks
    07. Aspect
    08. Countless Skies

    Length: 59:27 min

    LIsten to 'From Scythe to Sceptre' here:

    http://www.myspace.com/belakor
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Belakor/23084022229
    http://www.ultimatemetal.com/forum/belakor-490 (TIP!)
    http://www.last.fm/music/Be'lakor

    Review:

    The Australian Melodic Death Metal formation BE'LAKOR was born in 2004 and put out its first release in 2007 under the title "The Frail Tide". It had six tracks, a playtime of almost 43 minutes and took the world by storm. Especially fans of bands like AMON AMARTH should have had quite an interesting listening experience, also because th production was very good for an unsigned band. But nowadays many bands that are unsigned tend to deliver solid works. Positive criticism from Europe grew and even in Australia the band acquired a large fanbase. Around the middle of 2008 BE'LAKOR even signed to the Dutch label Descent Productions (ex-home of GORATH, IKUINEN KAAMOS, MOURNERS LAMENT and more), but few months later both parties seperated and BE'LAKOR was free again. Until June 2009, the month in which their second release and first full album ("Stone's Reach", 20th of June), you could say that, came out. Prime Cuts Music saw the quality the band has to offer and added them to its roster.

    As the release date drew closer, the Australians added a new song each time to their MySpace page. I was extremely anticipating this new album and hearing the new songs made me instantly crave for more. Everything sounded so much better ("The Frail Tide" already had quite a good production), and the compositions were typically BE'LAKOR. George's growling, the guitarwork, the drums... Each of the three songs sounded so great that receiving the album to review shortly after the actual release made my heart pound 100 beats faster. Ok, some exaggeration here. We're now a few months later and it's only now that I found the time to write something about "Stone's Reach". It's a one man's business after all.

    The album has eight tracks, totalling a playtime of more than 60 minutes. Talk about value for money, even though one doesn't mean the other will be alright, too. But in terms of musical quality, I have no complaints. It all starts with "Venator" and its Jazzy beginning. The Metal outbreak comes in like a whirlwind as the pattern of pounding drums, raging melodic guitars and demonic growling. This reminds heavily of bands like AMON AMARTH and OPETH. At least, the few OPETH songs I've heard so far. Calm guitar and drum interventions bring tranquillity before the storm comes back. Due to the long playtime, lots of attention can be given to instrumental talk, and that's a very good move, something BE'LAKOR do with style. The variety on offer in this first song comprises several emotions, from happy and positive to sad and negative. "Venator" is easily one of the best songs the band has written so far. With its length of a good 8 minutes and a half you're in for a long ride and that's the case with most of the songs here.

    "From Scythe To Sceptre" is next and takes on a direct start at midtempo, building up towards the verses. George's growling (reminiscent of AMON AMARTH and OPETH, for example) is of course as present as can be. Guitars play a key role here and offer a constant eargasm as George and Shaun provide the listener with great harmonies. The second part of the song is more vicious, a bit faster, fiercer, but the melodic aspect is far from forgotten. The piano forms a stop at some point before going with the flow as the music picks up here it left off. Meanwhile the accoustic guitar has also joined the fold. And that accoustic guitar demands full attention a bit later, even occupies the lead position. Electric guitars and keyboards don't agree and fight back. Sad but true and truth be told, the music does sound sad, even with or despite the heavier rhythm guitar. Only firm instrumental talk follows then, but George is allowed to throw in some deep growls, somewhat reminiscent of Karl willets from BOLT THROWER, one last time. Need it be said that this is another fantastic song?

    "Outlive The Hand" is next, a bit longer (more than 8 and a half minutes) and personally speaking, one of the best songs on this album. It starts calm with chord plucking and atmospheric backing, building the tension, adding a bit of suspense. Or is it meditation? ;-) Keyboards come fading and *bam!* A grand thing awaits and the tension only increases. The next bang is the definitive one. As if a tank is rolling on on high speed! And in that context you can easily refer to BOLT THROWER, only BE'LAKOR play this piece faster and more melodic. The piano plays along, too, and not to fill the empty spots. This song is filled with changes in terms of rhythm, tempo, melody and with them come various moods. The result is quite simply breathtaking. At some point an (semi-)accoustic break offers rest. Sad symphonic leads come in, while the drums keep a slow and gentle beat going. The mood here is one of sadness, tristesse, sorrow and despair. Absolutely stunning how these Australians neatly mix it with the heavier stuff. And that heavier stuff enforces this mood through the guitars and growls. The piano plays another important role as it breaks this flow and forms the bridge to a more Death Metal influenced part: fast drums, dito riffing and with the piano providing the melody/leads. Quite original, if you ask me, and I have to say this combination works very well.

    Time for something happier then. At least, "happy" seems more fitting after "Outlive The Hand". "Sun's Delusion" is a midtempo track, taking a direct start. As is common in BE'LAKOR's songs, melody is one of the main ingredients, though the rhythm and drum pattern are also a lust for the ear. The tempo drops in the chorus where the atmosphere is sad and gloomy, not in the least because of the atmospheric backing by the keyboards. The instrumental talk, with the keyboards leading, is of high quality. Stunning even. And permits George to come in on specific moments, but certainly not too long. The guitars take over, together, and stretch their time before the original rhythm is picked again while the drums keep the tempo high enough. All falls silent about 2 minutes before the end, letting calm guitarwork come to the front, or better, demand all attention before one final rolling outburst is thrown out of the speakers and fades out by the guidance of the piano. Another long but fa-bu-lous song, let that be clear.

    "Held In Hollows" also starts in a direct manner, though with bumping, an element that will return. George's vocals are added very rapidly, as he instantly jumps into the verses. Melodic parts connect those with the chorus. The tempo increases afterwards and then you're set for a long instrumental ride again, dominated by the keyboards and guitars. Since this isn't a short song, it lends itself perfectly for non-sung music. As good as the music is, it does sound different from what preceded, almost un-BE'LAKOR-ish. But then again, it adds to the variety and makes the album more interesting. Of course, the George and co. made sure you can recognise this as a BE'LAKOR song. Later on there's a nice piano break with the guitars before coming back at full power, still holding the melody played before that intact. All in all another qualitative song, though different from the others.

    So far lots of Melodic/Progressive Death Metal has passed and continuing like before could (!) be overkill to some ears, which is why the band found it useful and fitting to implement a break ("Husks") at this stage. It's accoustic and fully instrumental. But it's not just a break, it's by itself quite a nice track, too. "Aspect" is, apart from "Husks", the shortest song on "Stone's Reach" with its nearly 6 minutes of playtime. Keyboards take the lead and provide atmospheric backing while guitars and drums go along in a marching manner. That's just the start. Once the real starting point is found, the music rolls on, energetic, as if it's with renewed power (!). The keyboard melody remains constant at this point. The verses are sound tight and firm and rock like hell (to use a cliché). The band even accelerates a bit after that. George's vocals are both of the growling and screaming kind (later on), but not the emo kind, don't worry. About one minute and a half before the end of the song all falls silent, save for a gentle guitarsolo followed by a build-up towards something more powerful, though slow and melodic, but nevertheless sad. Despite its shorter playtime, the band did manage to make something great of this song and shows that it doesn't have to make long songs to provide quality. Not that I want BE'LAKOR to change strategy, because their longer songs are too good.

    And last, but certainly not least, "Countless Skies", also the longest song on this first full-length. The beginning is gentle and calm. The drums are added and the music goes into a Jazzy direction. No guitars, just the piano, the drums and vocals. Once the chorus is there, the Metal power comes rolling out of the speakers. The melodic aspect is high, though. At that instant the tempo also increases. Bonus points go to the connecting parts. Speaking of melody: they add a rather melancholic touch to the song and that feeling is enforced by the piano. The guitars are afterwards in charge of the talking, though Jimmy adds a few (cymbal) fills and Steve's piano skills come in handy as well. Overall this is another good song. Not as perfect as the majority here, but solid no matter what.

    I said the following about "The Frail Tide": "This is really, really amazing and - if I may say so, because that's how I feel about it (obviously :p) - very original. I am very happy to have come accross this band on MySpace (it does seem to have its advantages). BE'LAKOR is one of the underground pearls of Australia (...)." For "Stone's Reach" I can't do anything else but use the same text and even hail the band some more, considering there are more songs, more music (Melodic Death Metal with Progressive influences), more of everything. The production has improved, the compositions are catchy, addictive, diverse. BE'LAKOR is a band that succeeded - sorry, succeeds - in keeping my attention and keeping me chained. Seeing them live would be the cherry on the cake. But for that I need to go to Australia. In short: heavily recommended for Melodic/Progressive Death Metal fans or Metalheads with a broad taste in general.(Thoughts of Metal)
     
    #1 jpmuikku, Mar 24, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2015
  2. jpmuikku

    jpmuikku Member

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    The album was originally released in Australia by Prime Cuts. Kolony Records released the European edition. Releases: 30.11.2009 Italy, 03.02.2010 Rest of Europe.

    Some older Be'lakor reviews

    Lords of Metal
    93/100 by Vera

    In 2007 I did not make a secret of my spontaneous enthusiasm for ‘The Frail Tide’, the debut of Be’lakor. The five-headed Australian band created an amazing fresh and inventive disc; obligatory purchase for all aficionados of melodious death/doom metal with a firm Viking edge. I wrote it was a shame that the band used to be unsigned, but the successor ‘Stone’s Reach’ is released in Australia by Prime Cuts Music. Finally justice! For the rest of the world, they are still independent. Label managers, what are you waiting for? Maybe another proficiency test? Well, here we have got it!

    Early 2008 – when I interviewed the band – half of the material for ‘Stone’s Reach’ was already written. This second album – an hour of high-quality heaviness, regaled with necessary nuances – even surpasses that debut. This time they did not add any genre-strange instruments like flute or bouzouki, yet they succeeded in giving skilled switches to the long compositions. They achieve this by intermezzos with acoustic guitars and piano. Soaring synthesizers in the background also remain omnipresent. But the backbone of the music remains vigorous and rough. Think of a personal blend of Amon Amarth, Opeth and Novembers Doom. Vocalist George Kosmas has a fine, unequalled throat in the vein of Johan Hegg and Paul Kuhr. Songs like ‘From Scythe To Sceptre’ and ‘Sun’s Delusion’ have a very dark timbre. The short, instrumental ‘Husks’ shines as moment of reflection between sturdy compositions as ‘Held In Hollows’ (delicious guitar soloing!) and the stalwart ‘Aspect’.

    Mentioning highlights has no sense at all, because ‘Stone’s Reach’ is one entire masterpiece, made by five inspired musicians. Just listen to the ten minutes long occluding track ‘Countless Skies’ and I bet you will be eager to find this magnificent album. Those who still have their doubts; go and have a listen at www.myspace.com/belakor. Spread the news and support this band!

    Zwaremetalen.com
    by Martijn van den Beukel

    Na het unaniem goed ontvangen The Frail Tide uit 2007, is hier langspeler nummer twee van het Australische Be’lakor. Het plaatje heeft ons via het eveneens Australische label Prime Cuts Music bereikt en schept hoge verwachtingen bij liefhebbers van death metal met de nodige diepgang, epiek én melodie. Tijd voor Stone’s Reach dus.

    Ik ben er even lekker voor gaan zitten want met acht nummers die tezamen een uur klokken, is deze plaat niet licht verteerbaar te noemen. Nummers boven de acht minuten zijn geen uitzondering en kenmerken de stijl van deze veelzijdige band. Epische death metal wordt hier gecombineerd met diepgaande progressieve stukken, rauwe passages en imposante elementen. Denk aan een combinatie tussen Opeth, Amon Amarth en Septic Flesh. Dit is echter allemaal omgetoverd tot een eigen brouwsel wat zonder twijfel indrukwekkend genoemd mag worden. Iedere song kent zijn opbouw met de nodige rustpunten maar geen moment verdwijnt dat bedrukte gevoel van naderende duisternis. Productioneel zit dit meer dan snor; alle elementen komen prima tot hun recht, zowel tijdens de brute stukken (luister eens naar een heerlijke gitaarwerk halverwege Held in Hollows) als tijdens de meer ingetogen passages (de met regelmaat terugkerende pianostukken bijvoorbeeld). Een echte luistertip of hoogtepunt valt niet te benoemen, Stone’s Reach vormt een soort avontuur, een reis die je geheel moet ondergaan om het allemaal te snappen en tot je te kunnen nemen.

    Het nummer Husks vormt een alleraardigst akoestisch rustpuntje die de luisteraar weer klaarmaakt voor het strijdlustige Aspect met zijn opwindende drums en fantastische keyboardlijnen, die overigens nooit storend zijn. Het najaar van 2009 kent een aantal geweldige titels en deze tweede langspeler van Be’lakor behoort daar zeker bij. Mijn jaarlijst krijgt in ieder geval steeds meer vorm. Beleef het mee en schaf dit aan… of liever andersom.

    Fémforgács
    9/10 by Pope Fapalot

    Magyar nyelven nem tűnik túl szerencsés névnek a Be’lakor, abból a szempontból nézve, hogy a banda nem metalcoret játszik, és ha jól látom nincs egy Béla sem közöttük. Hülyeséget félretéve, a név egy ausztrál bandát takar, a zene amit játszanak pedig dallamos death metal. Mások ugyan felemlegetik Götherbogot is az album hallatán, de szerintem nem kéne ezt ennyire erőltetni.
    A lemezt a lejátszóba vágva kíváncsian vártam mit alkottak a srácok és az introval rögtön sikerült fokozniuk az érdeklődésemet. Egy pillanatra a Godgory jutott eszembe – egy banda amit imádok (és sajnos már nem létezik), de ez a pillanat hamar elmúlt, szerencsére minden keserű szájíz nélkül. Egyáltalán nem olyan zene ez mint a Godgory, ugyan néhány helyen eszembe juttatja őket és még sok más bandát is, de ez napjainkban szinte már teljesen elkerülhetetlen. Lehet ebben a stílusban olyan albumot csinálni egyáltalán, mely hallgatása közben nem ugrik be pár régi klasszikus? Nem hiszem. A Be’lakor viszont nagyon ügyesen elkerüli a csapdát melybe sok banda beleesik, nem lehet semmire ráfogni, hogy ez teljesen olyan mint a … vagy a … -nem lehet, mert a Be’lakor a saját zenéjét játssza egy elég telített színtéren. Érdekes ez a lemez, ha az ember csak úgy elkezdené hallgatni egész biztosan azt gondolná ismét egy újabb északi bandával van dolga, de hamar észrevenni, hogy ez mégsem így van. Van valami ebben a zenében, ami kiemeli őket a tömegből.

    A Stone’s Reach témái nincsenek túlbonyolítva, egyszerű, de magával ragadó dallamok kísérnek minket egy órás utazásra. A gitárokat szinte megállás nélkül aláfesti a billentyűs, megadva a kellő melankolikus hangulatot a zenének, az énekes sem cifrázza a dolgokat, szépen végigtolja az egészet ugyanúgy – hozzáteszem, szerintem tökéletes hangja van ehhez a zenéhez. Talán pont ez az egyszerűség adja meg a varázsát a lemeznek, nem terheli le az embert, nagyon jó zene egy kis merengős kikapcsolódáshoz.
    Számomra ez az év egyik legjobb lemeze, az első hallgatás során magával ragadott és mások írásait olvasva ezzel nem vagyok egyedül. A Be’lakor jó fogadtatásban részesült rögtön az első lemezük után, amit 2007-ben kezdtek terjeszteni saját kiadásban. Annak a címe The Frail Tide volt, de ezen kívül semmi mást nem tudok róla mondani, ugyanis még nem mertem meghallgatni. (Ha egy bandának egy lemeze ennyire bejön mint most a Stone’s Reach, akkor nagy az esély arra, hogy a többi fele annyira sem fog tetszeni.)
    Szerettem volna hosszabban írni erről a lemezről, de csak arra jutok, hogy újra és újra végighallgatom… ezért mindenkinek csak javasolni tudom adjon egy lehetőséget Béláéknak és egy borongós, rosszkedvű, stresszes napon tegye be a Stone’s Reach-t a lejátszóba majd tekerje fel a hangerőt.

    Metalstorm
    9/10 by Raiden

    After hearing and reviewing the first offering of Melodic Death Metal from Australia’s Be’lakor I found it to be a rather promising debut. The promise wasn’t misplaced either as the band have backed themselves up rather nicely with this new album entitled Stone’s Reach. While their previous release The Frail Tide was good, the new album is cleaner production-wise and I think a deeper piece of work as well.

    Stone’s Reach actually begins surprisingly softly. Ambience with soft cymbal taps and soothing guitar notes lull the listener into going along with something soft and simple. Not before too long however heavy guitars and harsh growls take over. The introduction to this first song however is perhaps an indication that while this is Melodic Death Metal, it’s somehow a work of dark beauty. Stone’s Reach is filled with examples of clever changes of pace, mournful solo-esque guitar work and extraordinary melodies; all of this coming from an album which is of a type of Death Metal.

    It’s one thing to write a good piece of music though, it can all fall apart if it isn’t executed properly. Well Be’lakor has shone through in that department as well. The drumming is as technical as it needs to be and the guitar work contains the right amount of heaviness for each scenario in each song while being all the time well performed. The keyboards/ambience and piano of Steven Merry is applied better this time around. It adds that extra layer to the songs when it entwines with them. The harsh guttural growled vocals could fit in with Brutal Death Metal music but yet they don’t seem out of place here either. The song (or rather opus) “Countless Skies” exemplifies all the good parts of Stone’s Reach. It starts slowly with a brilliant and deep guitar riff (which later features as a kind of solo) and just builds up with ambience and technical piano work. Launching with double bass drumming and fast guitar work doesn’t detract from the splendour this song seems to contain. This song would have to be my favourite on Stone’s Reach which is handy as it concludes the album leaving good thoughts of the album.

    Stone’s Reach isn’t as much a good piece of Melodic Death Metal as it is a piece of art. Despite the music feeling very much this way, the cover art, back cover and booklet imagery is all a good representation of this work. Be’lakor have created a piece of dark and delightfully melodic Death Metal that you won’t want to pass up the chance to hear.

    Onda alternativa
    4,5/5 by Andrea Fabbi

    La Kolony Records, assicurandosi la distribuzione europea di questo secondo disco degli australiani Be’Lakor, mette a segno un ottimo colpo. Il quintetto australiano esegue un death metal melodico, infarcito di richiami doom, dalla struttura estremamente introspettiva.

    Detto ciò, non aspettatevi una palla depressive: i nostri tengono il ritmo, eccome. Se avete amato i Dark Tranquillity di “Damage Done” adorerete questo disco, ve lo posso assicurare. Nonostante vivano agli antipodi, infatti, i Be’Lakor acquisiscono in pieno i dettami della scuola scandinava, senza per questo risultare pedanti e accademici. Oltre ai Dark Tranquillity sono presenti nel disco altre influenze: in primis gli Amorphis delle origini, ma anche, nei passaggi più cadenzati, un’eco di gruppi come Daylight Dies, e, senza scomodare troppi mostri sacri, degli Opeth (la voce di George Kosmas richiama molto il primo Akerfeldt). Il grosso del lavoro, nella composizione dell’opera, lo fanno le due (anche tre, considerando gli ottimi intermezzi acustici) chitarre, davvero ben calibrate fra loro, con assoli mai fastidiosi, che si rincorrono per tutta la durata del disco in maniera davvero grandiosa, aiutati da un’ottima linea ritmica (con il batterista, Jimmy Vanden Broeck, davvero in stato di grazia), e dalle tastiere dell’ottimo Steve Merry, che sa dove entrare con il suo suono senza risultare invadente e senza sovrastare le due linee di chitarra.

    Tre tracce su tutte: l’opener “Venator” (che non da molti indizi su quello che verrà dopo, in verità), “Sun’s Delusion” (il titolo fa molto Katatonia, non è un caso), e “Countless Skies”, che sembra essere quasi una sinossi dell’album intero, una suite di 10 minuti in cui si ritrovano tutti gli aspetti salienti dell’album: i ritmi cadenzati, le sfuriate, intermezzi acustici e tastiere, il tutto condito da riff davvero ben costruiti. Se siete amanti del genere, un disco da avere, subito (anche per la copertina, stupenda).
     
  3. lorenzo_kolony

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  4. jpmuikku

    jpmuikku Member

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    9,5/10 @ Bloodchamber.de by Bastian Greb

    http://www.bloodchamber.de/cd/b/6963/

    Ein Dämon aus der Unterwelt: BE’LAKOR, seines Zeichens ein Fiesling aus der Tabletop-Reihe „Warhammer“, steht Pate für ein musikalisches Projekt aus Down Under. Da passt aus unserer Sicht der Begriff „Unterwelt“ ja ganz gut. Und dieses hierzulande unbekannte Wesen erscheint mächtig, brachial und unbesiegbar. Bewaffnet mit einer abgewetzten, todesbleiernen Stahlkeule, geschmiedet im schwedischen Norden von Veteranen wie INSOMNIUM und AMON AMARTH, schreitet das Ungetüm voran und zerschmettert die Masse an modernen Imitatoren, die sich mit lächerlichem Cleangesang und zarter Pop-Fidelei im absterbenden Sumpf des melodischen Death Metals zurecht finden wollen. BE’LAKOR ist auf der Seite all jener, die tapfer AT THE GATES ausharren und einen Befreiungsschlag erwarten, der diese vergessen geglaubte Unterwelt wieder aufleben lässt.

    „Stone’s Reach“ lässt den Hörer bereits mit dem ersten Ton in Erinnerungen schwelgen und wirkt wie eine leckere Speise, von der man schon seit ewigen Zeiten nicht mehr kosten durfte. Bestimmend und düster raunt der Dämon hervor. Sein finsteres Growlen wird begleitet von einem Chor an Instrumenten, die einen Hit nach dem anderen produzieren. Neben einer unheimlich verspielten Leadgitarre, zahlreichen Soli und variablem Drumming existiert eine dezente Keyboardatmosphäre, die nie übertrieben ihre Verwendung findet. Trotz durchgängiger Überlänge bei den einzelnen Stücken gerät das Album nie in Versuchung langweilig zu werden. Leicht melancholisch, immer hochspannend, unheimlich variabel und phasenweise richtig schön düster klingt das Gesamtbild und lässt den Hörer einfach nur staunend zurück. Bei einer derart hohen Qualitätsdichte fällt es schwer einzelne Songs hervorzuheben. „From Scythe to Sceptre“ sorgt teilweise für wahre Gänsehaut, „Outlive the Hand“ ist kompositorisch wertvoller als 90% aller angeblichen Melodic Death Metal Alben der letzten fünf Jahre und spätestens das perfekt arrangierte Finale „Countless Skies“ ist die nicht mehr zu erwartende Krönung eines Dämons, der mitreißender kaum sein könnte.

    Es ist unfassbar, dass BE’LAKOR noch nicht den Sprung zu einem großen Label gefunden haben. Diese australische Melodic Death Kante lässt vieles vergessen, was uns in den letzten Jahren in diesem Genre vorgesetzt wurde. Wer sich auch nur ein wenig mit traditionellem Death Metal anfreunden kann und oben genannte Bands zu seinen Favoriten zählt, wird an „Stone’s Reach“ seine wahre Freunde haben. Ihr, die ihr seit ewigen Zeit ausgeharrt habt: haltet Ausschau nach diesem Dämon aus der Unterwelt! Down Under bringt uns den Melodic Death Metal zurück!
     
  5. lorenzo_kolony

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  6. lorenzo_kolony

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    A very short documentary filmed at The Corner Hotel, Richmond, Melbourne, Australia in July 2010. Features some interviews with Shaun Sykes, John Richardson and George Kosmas, as well as some live footage.

     
    #6 lorenzo_kolony, Jul 19, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2015
  7. lorenzo_kolony

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    New review online - 80 / 100! :hotjump::hotjump::hotjump:

    Link:
    http://thepitofthedamned.blogspot.com/2010/11/belakor-stones-reach.html

    "Ancora una volta è l’Australia ad allietare le mie orecchie con suoni estremamente suggestivi: dopo Insomnius Dei, Phalanx ed Empyrean, ecco arrivare anche i Be’lakor con il loro sound a cavallo tra death doom e progressive e già tutto mi è più chiaro. Questo è il genere che prediligo in assoluto perché in grado di regalare le emozioni più forti alla mia anima. Questi cavalieri dell’apocalisse ci offrono otto splendide composizioni che partendo da un sound vicino a quello degli Opeth, ne prendono immediatamente le distanze, riuscendo a costruire trame musicali davvero convincenti ed avvincenti già dall’iniziale “Venator”, song ricca di melodia, atmosfere cangianti capaci di passare repentinamente da frangenti acustici ad altri più elettrici. Anche la successiva “From Scythe to Sceptre” naviga sulla stessa onda, grazie alle deliziose malinconiche linee di chitarra offerte dal duo Shaun Sykes e George Kosmas (quest’ultimo anche vocalist della band); ma è con questa song che gli “Aussie boys” ci prendono ufficialmente per mano accompagnandoci nel loro mondo articolato, riflessivo e decadente, dove ad alternarsi sono splendide ambientazioni crepuscolari con altre più selvagge, finendo per creare un seducente gioco di chiari scuri che può incoronare il five pieces australiano nel gotha del death metal melodico. Le successive “Outlive the Hands” e “Sun’s Delusion” non fanno altro che confermare quanto appena scritto: ritmiche da urlo, sorrette da un continuo ed efficace lavoro di ricerca di melodia, come solo i grandi gruppi scandinavi sono in grado di fare e tanta tanta fantasia che nulla alla fine lascia di scontato nell’ascolto di questo eccellente lavoro. Se solo il growling del frontman fosse stato leggermente più espressivo, magari alternando i cavernosi vagiti con altre parti più sofferenti (ma pulite), l’album avrebbe meritato sicuramente qualcosa in più. La produzione ben equilibrata, accanto allo spessore tecnico-stilistico dei componenti del combo australiano, non fa altro che confermare l’eccelsa qualità di una band che ha tutte le carte in regola per sfondare in Europa, forti ora anche di un contratto di distribuzione con la Kolony Records. Se siete amanti di questo genere, non far vostro questo cd, sarebbe davvero un peccato veniale." (Francesco Scarci)
     

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