Be'lakor - Of Breath And Bone review



Reviewer:
9.0

901 users:
8.61
Band: Be'lakor
Album: Of Breath And Bone
Release date: June 2012


01. Abeyance
02. Remnants
03. Fraught
04. Absit Omen
05. To Stir The Sea
06. In Parting
07. The Dream And The Waking
08. By Moon And Star


In what can only be described as a natural progression of one of the most highly regarded melodic death metal albums of the decade in Stone's Reach, Be'lakor have taken to the studio once more with the hopes of building on their already unrelenting momentum.

Of Breath and Bone begins as if "Countless Skies" was a season finale that left its audience begging for answers, building upon the exact qualities responsible for the praise of its predecessor. The dense, almost depressive atmosphere is as prominent as ever, separating the band from the sea of melodic death metal as oil asserts itself atop water. Their songwriting prowess is put on display as early as the opening track, "Abeyance", and just gets better and better throughout the course of the album. A noticeable difference this time around is the more folk-influenced guitar melodies, and a stronger focus on piano passages - both of which add to the overall somber mood. It's far from being monumentally different, but that's not going to upset a great deal of fans by any means.

In spite of the subtle changes, the album as a whole works perfectly as a direct follow-up to Stone's Reach, as some of the riffs even sound similar in the sense that - again - a story is being concluded. The fact that this ability spans two albums and not just two songs is rather impressive in itself, but this isn't the band's most appealing quality. That distinction would go to the accessibility, which of course at this point is synonymous with the genre, but here Be'lakor have an advantage. Building on the aforementioned atmosphere, these guys manage to include some incredibly catchy riffs and haunting melodies that are capable of inducing a man-tear or two while the headbanging quality is top-notch. Think Amon Amarth at their manliest or Insomnium at their bleakest. The band members deserve kudos if not only for incorporating elements from both bands while maintaining their own voice - something that is unique in this genre.

Songs begin and end in what is fast becoming "typical fashion" for the band, with introductions that build up a bombastic body of work before closing out with even more fervent proficiency, and yet another break in the action by way of an acoustic instrumental track ("To Stir the Sea") keeps the album from becoming one continuous melting pot of overlapping riffs.

Simply put, Of Breath and Bone is more of the same but in a more continued sense that will undoubtedly cause the same stir as its predecessor. This album doesn't mark a new direction and maintains the same successful formula as before, but this time around the entirety of the band's sound comes off as more direct, and even slightly more daring. With a mixture of fluffy, light-hearted melodies and brutal fist-pounding riffs backing up the always delectable growls of George Kosmas; a heavy production that lends a major hand to the doleful vibe, thanks in large part to Jens Bogren; and insanely catchy, yet forward-thinking compositions, these Australians have delivered exactly what fans of the band have been eagerly awaiting. No unpleasant surprises, no needless changes or drastic transitions - just well-executed melancholic melodic death metal that further builds upon a foundation that is largely considered to be one of the strongest currently in the scene.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Production: 10


 



Written on 23.05.2012 by Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.


Comments

Comments: 89   Visited by: 998 users
23.05.2012 - 17:53
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Quote:
Simply put, Of Breath and Bone is more of the same but in a more continued sense that will undoubtedly cause the same stir as its predecessor


That's all I needed to know to stay away =P
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23.05.2012 - 17:55
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Guest on 23.05.2012 at 17:53
That's all I needed to know to stay away =P

Oh for sure, based on your rating and comments I wouldn't recommend you even bother listening to this.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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23.05.2012 - 18:01
Paz
News Man
Sounds cool.
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23.05.2012 - 18:13
Edmund Fogg
I liked Stone's Reach, but it didn't leave such an impression on me. Will deffinetly check this one out.... Just to fill out my fury desires.
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The Observer is the source of reality - Bloom
God damn it!! What did Diddy didn't do? - Satan
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23.05.2012 - 18:16
Dark Blood
The Avenger
I honestly wasn't expecting such a high rate based on the songs that were released so far. I mean I like them but... this is a nice surprise. And to see such a demanding reviewer give such a rate, that alone makes me love the album.
Their previews album was superb and I'm still hooked to it, so this should be great too. Really looking forward to it.

Really nice review. Congrats.
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It is humanity who must pay homage to the greatness of the Universe... not the Universe to the human narcissism.
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23.05.2012 - 18:19
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Edmund Fogg on 23.05.2012 at 18:13
I liked Stone's Reach, but it didn't leave such an impression on me.

To be honest you can probably expect to feel the same about this, as it's pretty much Stone's Reach pt. II.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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23.05.2012 - 18:19
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Dark Blood on 23.05.2012 at 18:16
And to see such a demanding reviewer give such a rate, that alone makes me love the album. Really nice review. Congrats.

Blast! My reputation precedes me...

And thanks!
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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23.05.2012 - 18:21
Boxcar Willy
yr a kook
I have little interest in this genre anymore, but then again, neither do you

Will YT when I get home.
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forever bummed out
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23.05.2012 - 18:22
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Boxcar Willy on 23.05.2012 at 18:21
I have little interest in this genre anymore, but then again, neither do you

Few bands still manage to keep my interest, but Be'lakor, Insomnium, and Amon Amarth keep me coming back for more every time.

And to a lesser extent these days, Dark Tranquillity.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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23.05.2012 - 18:37
Risto
Wandering Midget
You destroyed pretty much all of my doubt with this review. Very much looking forward to next week's mail deliveries
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23.05.2012 - 18:43
PocketMetal
I'm so excited , Be'lakor is the only MDM band I like .
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23.05.2012 - 19:02
Fredd
Account deleted
I liked the frail tide much much more than stone's reach, but i'll give this one its chance.
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23.05.2012 - 19:04
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Guest on 23.05.2012 at 19:02
I liked the frail tide much much more than stone's reach, but i'll give this one its chance.

I'm the opposite. While The Frail Tide sparked my interest in the band and is more than competent as a melodic death metal release, the atmosphere didn't work as well for me as it did on Stone's Reach. Of course, atmosphere is purely subjective so this isn't a question of quality.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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23.05.2012 - 20:48
sordid
Nice review by the song "remnants" i checked the band's style remains the same,but,as you say,with slight changes that are be'lakor's own voice. i love melodic death metal,but this band it's thousands of years ahead 95% of this style's bands. i hope so much that this band doesn't go down like many others that fall into desinspiration! the best luck for be'lakor,one of the most interesting band's to follow this days!
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23.05.2012 - 21:16
bitethepain
Great review. Can't wait to hear it!
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23.05.2012 - 21:21
Reaper_Redeamer
Thanks to Troy for the nice , well-written, informative review!
Thanks to metalstorm for supporting this band!
My ears feel happy now that the one they are struggling for is considered indeed good!
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23.05.2012 - 21:55
Pierre Tombale
Looking forward to receive my copy
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24.05.2012 - 01:03
Stoned Crow
Account deleted
Must be nice to get dibs on records before the rest of us. But, that only means it will be available soon- if you know what I mean. Nice review, let's me know that my expectations will be met. Your sentence including the "man-tear" is precisely what I want from this band. It's those moments within a song where I feel like a band gets "me"- if you know what I mean. And, before I type "if you know what I mean" again (oops), nice review- informative, and it adds to my anticipation. Well done!
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24.05.2012 - 01:08
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Guest on 24.05.2012 at 01:03
Must be nice to get dibs on records before the rest of us. But, that only means it will be available soon- if you know what I mean. Nice review, let's me know that my expectations will be met. Your sentence including the "man-tear" is precisely what I want from this band. It's those moments within a song where I feel like a band gets "me"- if you know what I mean. And, before I type "if you know what I mean" again (oops), nice review- informative, and it adds to my anticipation. Well done!

Thanks for the comment! As much as I'd like for others to get their hands on a copy, I'm hoping some official reviewer somewhere doesn't take advantage of their position and upload their copy early... Oh well, I guess that's the nature of the beast. Better to have a reviewer upload it than some random person I suppose.

As for their man-tear moments - to be honest that's probably my favorite aspect of their music. As much as I'm always down for brutality and extremity and whatnot, it's quite a special feat for a band like this to be able to incorporate such a strong atmosphere that makes the listener feel the weight of the band's words.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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24.05.2012 - 02:15
haladflire65
Holy crap Troy, this is the second time already you've introduced me to an awesome band (the first being in your Guide to the Underground article)! I Youtubed a couple promo tracks from this album and I love it. Be'lakor has a really good mix of melodic parts and brutality, perfect for my more symphonic tastes. I should go look at their older stuff too. Thanks for the nice review!
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24.05.2012 - 02:17
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by haladflire65 on 24.05.2012 at 02:15
Thanks for the nice review!

Thank you!

Not only should you check out their other two albums, but you should also read this interview by MoraWintersoul.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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24.05.2012 - 02:53
haladflire65
Written by Troy Killjoy on 24.05.2012 at 02:17

Written by haladflire65 on 24.05.2012 at 02:15
Thanks for the nice review!

Thank you!

Not only should you check out their other two albums, but you should also read this interview by MoraWintersoul.


Thanks for the link! It looks like I found another genre and band to enjoy (Stone's Reach is sounding good so far!).
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24.05.2012 - 07:51
YureiYumi
Account deleted
Sounds good, tkx for the review
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24.05.2012 - 14:15
Ace Frawley
The Spaceman
Looking forward to it and I hope to hear some of these songs live here in Australia before they head off to Europe.
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The sun shines over The Fool...
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24.05.2012 - 14:32
Zealot644
Gah! Give me this now!
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24.05.2012 - 16:20
Timmeh
Dudeman
Oh boy! Oh boy! This review has gotten my fanboydem all boy'd out. Should hopefully be getting the album in the mail tomorrow.
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24.05.2012 - 16:33
Kuroboshi
A 9 from the Killjoy? This certainly ups my hopes, since I absolutely adore their sophomore effort. And a good review by the way! I'm actually a bit surprised that you don't appreciate In Mourning more than you do...
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24.05.2012 - 17:28
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Timmeh on 24.05.2012 at 16:20
Oh boy! Oh boy! This review has gotten my fanboydem all boy'd out. Should hopefully be getting the album in the mail tomorrow.

Did you pre-order a signed digipak? Apparently they sold out as soon as they were available.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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24.05.2012 - 17:30
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Kuroboshi on 24.05.2012 at 16:33
A 9 from the Killjoy? This certainly ups my hopes, since I absolutely adore their sophomore effort. And a good review by the way! I'm actually a bit surprised that you don't appreciate In Mourning more than you do...

I've actually been giving out quite a few higher scores these past few months, between Dodsengel, Desecravity, Drapsnatt, and now this. That being said, In Mourning have never really impressed me. That's actually a lie, when I first listened to them I was quite interested, but quickly brushed it off. Their latest effort is too drawn-out for its own good.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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24.05.2012 - 22:15
Paz
News Man
Well, it's leaked...
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