Melbourne’s Be’lakor were faced with quite a task in creating a follow up to their acclaimed 2009 release The Stone’s Reach.
This was going to be no easy feat by any means, but they took their time, put their heads down and ended up with their third album Of Breath and Bone.
As the proceedings begin, you are introduced to the album with “Abeyance”, an 8 minute, dark, mid tempo pilgrimage that surges forward like crashing waves driven by lavish guitar rhythms, pulsating double bass, atmospherically charged melodies and vocalist/guitarist George Kosmas’ gutturally demonic growl.
“Remnants” conveys an almost cinematic feeling like being chased into a dark forest by a rabid monster thirsty for blood, utilizing blackened icy guitars that stab away into the darkness until a segues into a lush, dark acoustic guitar passage before the brooding doom returns to an evil climax. “In Parting” heads into doomier territory while retaining the melodic aspect of the album. “The Dream and the Waking” is reminiscent of Opeth’s “Demon of the Fall” , only with a faster pace driven by Jimmy Vanden Broeck’s dynamic drum performance. “Absit Omen” has an octane-fuelled viking metal sound with Kosmas and fellow guitarist Shaun Sykes unleashing harmonies that would make Amon Amarth proud and the closing track “By Moon and Star” is a miniature progressive opus that borrows elements from all of the proceeding tracks and mixes them to close proceedings with a dark and evil feeling that lingers on into the silence.
The only criticism of Of Breath and Bone is that does tend to get a tad repetitive at some points and there are some similarities between tracks. But the music is intriguing and darkly vibrant enough to consistently keep the listener’s full attention from beginning to end and it all blends together nicely. The production values are of a world class calibre with Jens Bogren undertaking the mixing and mastering.
Of Breath and Bone is a solid follow up to their past efforts and Be’lakor prove once again that they are one of the finest melodic death metal exports to come out of Australia, able to go up against the world’s finest without any doubts. Basically, if you like melodic death metal, you will like this.
1 . Abeyance
2 . Remnants
4. Absit Omen
5. To Stir the Sea
6. In Parting
7. The Dream and the Waking
8. By Moon and Star