Rating:
8.2
Be'lakor - Stone's Reach
20 June 2009


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


When I listened to this album for the first time my first thought was "this is clearly melodic death, but there's something about it", something that marks the line between another copy and a new way of design from the same prototype. Despite the guitars following Gothenburg death metal, one innovation of this band is the demarcation of that style because there's no chorus/verse imposed law, there's no fear of falling into doom or entering solos at low speed. It's very important to be creative inside the musical genres and this Australian group achieve it in a brilliant way.

Turning to the instrumental analysis, it's important to start with the guitars because they are the core of Be'lakor's music. Following the old teachings of Gothenburg, the guitars are full of life, technical and extremely melodic. Ideal to revivalists of Dark Tranquillity's Damage Done and old Amorphis albums. In general the riffs aren't very heavy (the second riff of "Venator" and the middle riff of "Aspect" are good exceptions) and their best feature is the fine construction, always emphasizing the harmony between the guitars and the rest of the group. The use of acoustic guitars in some musics ("Scythe to Sceptre","Outlive the Hand") drive the melody to higher levels and transforms the album into a pleasant journey which is easy to listen because the excess is replaced by freshness. The solos are clearly more melodic than out-of-order demonstrations of velocity.

Inside the same context, the bass helps the guitars a lot, giving them the necessary support to create heaviness, although the main job is the rhythm along with the drums. Talking about this, the drums are especially good at the multi-task function: aggressive, calm and technical when necessary, still these are the least enthusiastic of all instruments of Be'lakor. On the contrary, the keyboards and piano are a great addition, they don't overrun the music entirely and help to write the melody through a feeling of innocence, almost entering into folk dominions ("Held in Hallows" is a good example).
Finally, the voice is amazingly harmonious despite the guttural screams of George Kosmas. The lyrics are easily noticeable along the music and talk about the pain and destruction of death in confrontation with the resistance and the fight for life.

About the negative aspects, it can be claimed that the band needs to work better with some song structures (mostly the entrances to the solos) as well as improve the harmony between the bass and the guitars. Also some challenge is needed at the rhythmic section. Despite all this, don't get me wrong, I consider this album a good opportunity of revivalism inside melodic death, just like I consider this a good album to please anyone who is searching for new visions inside the genre (Opeth did it during the last decade, Be'lakor might do it now).
It isn't a paradox, Stone's Reach is capable of pleasing those who want to hear both sides and that's possibly the best achievement of this album.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 8
Production: 8


Band profile: Be'lakor
Album: Stone's Reach


 


written by Njord | 18.09.2009


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Staff review by
Raiden

Rating:
9.0
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.

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published 02.10.2009 | Comments (41)



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K†ulu - 21.09.2009 at 11:21  
I didn't hear a lot of Dark Tranquility on this album, but I definitely heard a lot of old In Flames and also some early Opeth.
Marcel Hubregtse - 21.09.2009 at 11:24  
Written by K†ulu on 21.09.2009 at 11:21

I didn't hear a lot of Dark Tranquility on this album, but I definitely heard a lot of old In Flames and also some early Opeth.


Mmm, I did hear a lot of old Dark Tranquillity on it, same for a lot of old In Flames, but no early Death for me (with ealry Death I mean Death as on their first three albums)
K†ulu - 21.09.2009 at 11:27  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 21.09.2009 at 11:24

Written by K†ulu on 21.09.2009 at 11:21

I didn't hear a lot of Dark Tranquility on this album, but I definitely heard a lot of old In Flames and also some early Opeth.


Mmm, I did hear a lot of old Dark Tranquillity on it, same for a lot of old In Flames, but no early Death for me (with ealry Death I mean Death as on their first three albums)

It's Opeth, not Death, man . I haven't listened to DT in a long time... Maybe you're right.
Marcel Hubregtse - 21.09.2009 at 11:29  
Written by K†ulu on 21.09.2009 at 11:27

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 21.09.2009 at 11:24

Written by K†ulu on 21.09.2009 at 11:21

I didn't hear a lot of Dark Tranquility on this album, but I definitely heard a lot of old In Flames and also some early Opeth.


Mmm, I did hear a lot of old Dark Tranquillity on it, same for a lot of old In Flames, but no early Death for me (with ealry Death I mean Death as on their first three albums)

It's Opeth, not Death, man . I haven't listened to DT in a long time... Maybe you're right.


Damn, I copuld have sworn I saw Death there That's what I get for having to wake up at 4 am aarrgghh
Valaskjalf - 22.09.2009 at 05:18  
Dark Tranquility? Uhh no....sounds way more like Insomnium with a bit of old In Flames.
PRELAX622 - 25.09.2009 at 18:48  
Insomnium and Swallow the sun i think. Belakor - great band.
Metal Grinder - 21.10.2009 at 20:41  
Amazing album - start to finish this album grabs you and does not let go. I have no issues with any of the instruments - in my view the harmony is good and the production is well done. Hope these guys get their due and credit. And they sometimes sound like early DT and sometimes Opeth and sometimes they just sound like black death metallers from Aussie land that kick ass...
PAOK1926 - 11.12.2009 at 09:07  
Very good LP from this awesome band....And im proud that the lead singer George Kosmas is Greek like me....
InnerSelf - 11.12.2009 at 22:51  
The Best Melodic Death this year , it easyly beats the latest from Insomnium with the variety and the refreshing songwriting
the solos are great and the effect that they use for their distrorted parts are great and unique
loved every thing about it

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