Be’lakor – Vessels CD Review17th June 2016 0 By Fraser
Melbourne’s Be’lakor are slowly but surely clawing their way to the metal mainstream limelight they deserve. The Australian quintet are already three masterpieces into their career, and are gearing up to release their fourth album, Vessels, with Napalm Records on the 24th of June. Be’lakor have set an exceptionally high bar for themselves – their previous releases, Of Breath and Bone, Stone’s Reach and The Frail Tide are all simply beautiful pieces of music. So how does Vessels do in comparison to their back catalogue?
The short answer, is it blows them out of the water. Coming in at eight tracks and 56 minutes, Vessels in just shy of an hour of absolutely stunning melodic death metal. It’s truly difficult to describe this album in any other way than repeatedly screaming “It’s just fucking beautiful!” in your faces, it is both progressive and technical, yet wonderfully hard-hitting and easy to enjoy. To even begin to grasp this album, reading a review won’t be enough – you need to experience it for yourself. But none the less, I shall try to articulate how excellent Vessels is.
From the opening seconds of Luma to the fading out riffing of The Smoke of Many Fires, Be’lakor take you on a musical journey, as cheesy and pretentious as that sounds. You will be shredding along on your favourite air guitar in places, and you will be holding your invisible oranges and growling along in places. You will be blown back in your seat and just experiencing the music for much of Vessels, and you will be drowning in your own tears from the sheer melancholic atmosphere Be’lakor have created.
Musically speaking, it is just gorgeous. Vessels has a heaviness to it that doesn’t rely on down-tuned guitars and 300 beats per minute drumming – the atmosphere itself is heavy enough. That said however, Vessels has more than its fair share of simply awesome riffs and blasting drumming. Throughout the album, the vocals, though guttural, are clear and have a frostbitten chill to them that only adds to the cold, sombre feel of the album. The music dances from heavy to soft, from biting to gentle with unsurpassable ease.
Be’lakor are the Opeth of the southern hemisphere. Their brand of punishing death metal and progressive musicianship coupled with an unmatched talent for creating atmosphere is something that simply just has to be heard. Vessels is not a pick up put down album – you have to listen to it from start to finish, in its entirety, and it demands your full and undivided attention. But it rewards this devotion with an emotional rollercoaster that will have you both banging your head and breaking your heart.
2. An Embers Arc
3. Withering Strands
4. Roots To Sever
6. A Thread Dissolves
7. Grasping Light
8. The Smoke of Many Fires
24th June 2016
For Fans of…
Opeth, Insomnium, Decapitated
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About the author
This bearded wildman from North of the wall survives the harsh ever-present winter of Scotland on a healthy diet of thrash, death metal and beer.