Kolony Records (2012)
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.
Rating: 4.5 / 6
Composed by Matt Coe