Be'Lakor - _The Frail Tide_
(Independent, 2007)
by: Kostas Sarampalis (8 out of 10)
Debut albums have the bad tendency of promising a lot but delivering very little. Not so with these Australians' first proper foray into the realms of melodic doom/death. Rather weirdly named Be'Lakor show promise, skill and imagination, backed up by six very well delivered songs in their debut _The Frail Tide_. I am a bit of a sucker for early Anathema, Opeth, Katatonia and the likes, and this disc took me back a few years. Progress and maturity have their benefits, but there is nothing like the enthusiasm and imagination of a starting band that put their collective heads down and produce an album from their hearts, yet know their limits.

Take "Tre'Aste", a song that can compete with most of the atmospheric metal stuff that Avantgarde released in the Nineties. Soaring solos that are well placed, even if all over the song, pouting drums and vocals that harken back to Nightfall's good eras, piano and keys that never drown the music. And this is repeated in most of the songs, all standing out, without dull moments or theatrics that would betray their young age. Even "Paths" sounds fresh, a piano and keys only prologue to the almost nine minute closing track. "Sanguinary" reminds me a bit of early Opeth -- when I actually liked them for the great music they wrote and not the meandering malarkey they evolved to --, especially the aggressive vocals and harmonic guitars.

It took me a few listens to appreciate the album and uncover its nuances, but not only it was worth it, it somehow slipped into my daily listening routine. No mean feat for a new band. As always, I wish the drumming was a bit more adventurous, and while the production is good enough, a more crystal clear sound would allow for more low key experimentation. "Paths" could have been a bit shorter, too. But all this is nothing more than nit picking. I truly loved this album, everything from the dual guitars and emotive vocals to the occasional well played flute, even more for being a debut from a young band. They deserve your attention and your hard earned money so they can continue their path.


(article published 23/6/2007)

7/15/2012 A El Naby 8.5 Be'lakor - Of Breath and Bone
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