Rating:
8.4
Be'lakor - The Frail Tide
21 April 2007


01. Neither Shape Nor Shadow
02. The Desolation Of Ares
03. Tre'aste
04. A Natural Apostasy
05. Paths
06. Sanguinary


Be'lakor is a five piece Melodic Death Metal band from Melbourne, Australia. "The Frail Tide" is the bands' debut album, and it seems like they've jumped out of the blocks quite nicely with this one.

Be'lakor describes their music as "…aggressive vocals underpinned by dark atmospheres inflections and resonant harmonies". This is a reasonably accurate description of the band. The atmospheres produced almost remind you of a Doom aura. There are piano/keyboards used, and they do make a nice undertone throughout the music. The band is party inspired by nature and this is noticeable at times through expressive keyboard playing. The vocals are also well done. They're usually deep, but also often roaring and strong, a little akin to those of Novembers Doom. Although some parts of this album will remind the listener of some of the Doom/Death bands out there, this is still Melodic Death Metal.

The most outstanding feature on this album for me is the way the band has harmonised their guitar work. Lead and rhythm entwine very well, and produce quite masterful sounds. The heavy deep strumming and more technical higher notes together eclipse their Melodeath music. Some songs will also slow down to sections of acoustic work. Other times you can hear acoustic guitars mixed with solo-like mid paced electric guitar tunes. The guitars are varied and an outstanding feature. Be'lakor plays well together as a group though. The drumming is skilled and thunderous. The bass guitar isn't quite as prominent as it could be, but I have no real qualms.

The track "A Natural Apostasy" is probably the most diverse on the album. It actually has quite a nice build up from the start. Following that is a flowing heavier section and towards the end is an almost folk-like guitar piece coupled with a meaningful and well played flute segment by Megan Sykes. Be'lakor has created an album that will probably never bore you.

An unfortunate thing about The Frail Tide is that the album seems to fade away a little bit towards the end. The song Paths is a six minute piano piece. Although it sounds good and is technically well played, it perhaps doesn't suit the album to be quite as long as it is. The last song Sanguinary starts slowly and I thought it would be a disappointing fade out to the album, but it does pick up, and ties everything together well.

An enjoyable album to be heard by Melodic Death Metal fans and others alike I'm sure. It's quite a good effort for a first album, and gives great images of future things to come. Recommended.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: Be'lakor
Album: The Frail Tide


 


written by Raiden | 17.04.2007



Comments

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Susan - 30.04.2007 at 04:53  
I consider melodic death metal to be a genre that I don't listen to/like. That said, I really want to hear this album! I enjoy a good atmosphere, strong guitars, and doom aspects cropping up where you least expect it. Oh, and any band that uses a flute I'm usually all over

Very good review, well written
Raiden - 30.04.2007 at 05:01  
Thanks!

Yes, you might like that flute part. It closes A Natural Apostasy nicely.

There's some songs to be heard at www.myspace.com/belakor if anyone is interested.
Mr Green - 15.05.2007 at 08:01  
I'd like to get a copy of The Frail Tide. I've only heard Tre'Aste, but I've been replaying it over and over again for days! I really enjoy it.

I'll check out their myspace - being an unsigned group, their cd won't be in retail stores, will it?
Raiden - 16.05.2007 at 09:16  
You could always ask at your local store. Seeing as they're an Australian band, I'm sure it could be possible.
hottercraft - 30.12.2007 at 01:51  
Good review!!
I have discovered this band recently and I have liked their album a lot, specially "The Desolation Of Ares"...
Syk - 23.05.2008 at 09:00  
Will, I don't mean to direct this comment at you, but to everyone who misuses the term "melodic death metal":

Please stop referring to anything as melodic death after using a checklist with only the criteria of melody and harsh vocals. Seriously. Answering the question "Does 2 × 2 = 79?" with "Yes" does not make a person open-minded. Death metal was founded on aggression and fury, and later THIS was COMBINED WITH melody. Go ahead and describe the music, compare it with specific bands or songs, but don't just label it as melodic death metal cos you can't be bothered thinking of something else. Otherwise you're creating expectations which aren't at all related to music like this, advertising to the wrong audience as if someone tried marketing ancient Egyptian religion to people firm in their Muslim faith. It may gain one or two new fans but the rest will be left with a bitter sense of wasted time.

I checked the myspace... it's not bad, but it's definitely not melodic death. The six-minute piano piece alone should tell you that!
Marcel Hubregtse - 23.05.2008 at 21:41  
Just checked out some of their music due to the fact they were signed by Descent Productions. Very nice music it is indeed, but like Syk, just said... melodic death metal it is NOT. Current Dark Tranquillity is even more melodic death metal than this and even Dark Tranquillity themselves agree that they have nothing to do with melodic death metal any more.
Raiden - 01.06.2008 at 11:40  
Well obviously the piano piece isn't metal at all, but plenty of bands have such interlude type songs.

What would you label them as then?
Abattoir - 02.02.2009 at 19:39  
Nice review. This debut album is a worthed of listening product, definitely. Nice, long and various songs...I like it a lot.
HardSide - 31.07.2009 at 03:07  
Only heard Tre'aste, total Rapture rip off, from the drums to the guitar
Raiden - 31.07.2009 at 03:15  
You can tell that from listening to just one song?
Deadmeat - 04.09.2009 at 16:05  
Nice review for a great album. imo it is really close to a 10. but not reaching it yet. they need to try a bit more but they surely have the potential...
Metal Grinder - 21.11.2009 at 03:01  
These guys are one record deal and decent promotion away from really making a name for themselves. This is their debute? I argue it is as matured, construed and produced as well as many bands after they have had three or four goes at it. Metal Blade, Nuclear, WAKE UP and sign these guys - just look at what they have done with their second brillant album....
Boxcar Willy - 21.01.2010 at 15:56  
I love this album because it will be alll heavy and then cut out to a piano solo intense album 8.5
Array - 21.03.2010 at 16:57  
I considering this debut as a rehearsal step towards Stone's Reach. In Stone's Reach there's always something exciting going on, but with this record you sometimes forget to listen it, 'cause there's nothing happening. This record 6/10, Stone's Reach 9/10.

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