Be'lakor
The Frail Tide


4.5
superb

Review

by Crimson USER (60 Reviews)
October 27th, 2007 | 200 replies | 44,828 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If you call yourself a fan of bands like Kalmah, Amon Amarth, Dark Tranquillity or Amorphis, then this release could be a welcome surprise for you

7 of 7 thought this review was well written

Australia can produce some really fantastic heavy metal bands. Virgin Black, Ne Obliviscaris and now, Be'Lakor. Finally we have a melodic death metal band that can not only make great music, but make an identity and a sound of their own. Maybe it's the Australian touch that gives them the individuality, or maybe they have just got lucky and found a sound that they can make their own, either way, the music here is pretty much unique from all the rest of death metal out today.

If you call yourself a fan of bands like Kalmah, Amon Amarth, Dark Tranquillity or Amorphis, then this release could be a welcome surprise for you. Primarily, this band has elements from all these bands together, but they still have so much more, catchy riffs, melodic twin guitar solos, haunting keyboard work and deep, powerful growls from the singer (who has a very similar style to that of Amon Amarth). Upon listening to some of the riffs, and dual guitar melodies, a hundred influences can be sited, from Iron Maiden to early In Flames, this band do this style of guitar play flawlessly, every note being memorable, catchy and powerful, while the keyboards provide a dark, organic canvas for the band to play with. Some tracks even have Opeth style acoustic interludes, without any clean vocals of course, but they are there and beautiful all the same. You even get treated to some nice flute work towards the end of probably the most diverse track, "A Natural Apostasy".

The album starts off memorably, no unnecessary intro, no cheesy roar followed by a wall of noise, instead, they start with a fantastic melodic riff (sounding somewhat like a more relaxed Kalmah), setting the tone for the rest of the song, and speeding up shortly. It's not until the deep vocals get introduced that the keyboards make their appearance, and already early on in the album, Be'Lakor have created a stunning atmosphere. Dark, vivid, haunting, but most of all, beautiful. Be'lakor may still be a very young band age and experience wise, yet on The Frail Tide, they have shown a maturity and a passion few bands challenge. Avoiding all the modern trends and influences of recent death metal, they have made an atmospheric album that rivals the genre's greats, which is no small feat considering that this is a debut from a young band.

The band show a mature sincerity with their songwriting, and their lyrics. I don't usually expect good lyrics from heavy metal bands, least of all a death metal band, but there is something about what they have written which strikes a chord in me, take for example, the opener 'Neither Shape Nor Shadow'.

Once submerged they may awaken
Briefly grasping moonlit skies
But a crescent moon accompaniment
Merely ushers in the tide

There are no lyrics about blood and gore, no cheesy love songs, definitely no politics. Just honest, creative tales of nature, glory, and in one track, Ares, the Greek god of war. The songs are all reasonably long, and each one has just enough going on in them to keep the listener interested without confusing them, the arrangements throughout each song are grand, epic and beautiful, forming a vivid artistic atmosphere that caresses your ears with an aura of majestic power, and I'm not over exaggerating one bit there. Rarely does a band manage to blend beauty and aggression so wonderfully, Be'Lakor show up most other established acts in that sense.

As you have already seen, I think Be'Lakor are world-class, better than most in the genre at the moment. There is no reason that a big label shouldn't pick them up straight away. The only reasons I can think of that they are still unsigned is because of their location, or because they don't really fit in with any trends at the moment. Having a more classic, unique sound might scare some other labels off, but I pray it doesn't because I think The Frail Tide is an amazing album, and I can't wait to hear what their next one is going to be like. Having a label support them could only be for the good, as the production on this album, while still very good, is a bit fuzzy. Fortunately, it suits the atmosphere that is in their sound, but more clarity wouldn't go amiss at parts. That is probably one of my very, very few complaints for this album, but it shouldn't deter anyone from listening.

This is such a... for lack of a better word, complete, release that it stuns me to find that this band haven't already been snapped up by one of the bigger labels. They quite literally have it all; individuality, flair, creativity and some damn good musicians. They are going to go places, and you can quote me on that.



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user ratings (247)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Crimson
October 27th 2007



1935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I was very, very close to giving this a 5. Another release that not enough people have had the pleasure of listening to.

Edit - Check out their myspace
http://www.myspace.com/belakorThis Message Edited On 10.27.07

kalkal50
October 27th 2007



2386 Comments


I hate all the bands you mentioned in your summary, so I probably won't be checking this out. Pretty good review.

Neoteric
October 27th 2007



3243 Comments


The difference between you and most of the other metal reviewers on this site is that you review interesting stuff that makes me want to check it out.

hermitspancho
October 27th 2007



278 Comments


I like the stuff on myspace , album sounds worth checking out if I can ever find it . I get the reference to Kalmah et al without a doubt but there seems (to me)a little doom influence in there as well ,I was (probably wrongly ) thinking of Novembers doom , particularly the third song

Crimson
October 27th 2007



1935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Not sure if you will find it in the shops (unless you live in australia) but you can order it from their myspace for a reasonable price, might take a week or so to get to you mind.

The difference between you and most of the other metal reviewers on this site is that you review interesting stuff that makes me want to check it out.

Thanks, I like introducing people to new music, that's also a reason why most of my reviews are positive, to try and get people interested.

violentmog
October 27th 2007



73 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I checked out the songs on myspace and they were great. Good review too.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2007



16258 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

OMG I MUST HAVE THIS!!

I must say thank you for showing me this band, the songs off their myspace OWN!

Fabulous review.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2007



16258 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ordering this now from their myspace.

Crimson
October 28th 2007



1935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I thought you might like this :D

edit: took a week for it to get delivered to me when I ordered itThis Message Edited On 10.28.07

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2007



16258 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I can wait a week.... I hope....

Zoo
October 28th 2007



3759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Just ordered this. Their myspace tracks were beastly.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2007



16258 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wow dude, I just noticed something which killed this review. You took most of the entire second to last paragraph from here:

http://www.live4metal.com/reviews-505.htm

And I quote, from the review on that site

[QUOTE=Live4Metal.com]Let's not beat around the (Australian) bush here, Be'Lakor are a world class act, my only concern is that labels might not pick them up because of two reasons. One, their geographical location, because it might prevent them from extensive touring - and two: Labels that are only interested in the latest trend(s) might not warm to their classic sound. But whatever the labels may think, my opinion is that The Frail Tide is a beautiful album, the ebb and flow (accidental pun) especially on The Desolation Of Ares is captivating. I'm not going to highlight any more song as it's the album as a whole that grabs your attention. The construction of each song is well thought out and rivals anything in the same genre. Everything from the pacing, to the atmospherics, the productions, it's all top notch. In fact, I can't even think of a single fault.[/QUOTE]

Plagiarism isn't cool dude.This Message Edited On 10.28.07

BallsToTheWall
October 28th 2007



44164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This sounds awesome.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2007



16258 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ya dude, I just ordered it today. It's only 13 bucks plus $4 shipping. I can't wait to get it.

Crimson
October 28th 2007



1935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wow dude, I just noticed something which killed this review. You took most of the entire second to last paragraph from here:
Shit, I was meant to change that. A lot, editing now.
Sorry about that. I fell like a prick at the moment.

Changed it for the paragraph which I had originally changed it to on my pc.This Message Edited On 10.28.07

Tyler
Emeritus
October 28th 2007



7928 Comments


So you paraphrasing it makes it alright?

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2007



16258 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for changing it, plagiarism is one of my pet peeves.

Back to the album, I ordered it and it should be shipped within two days.

Tyler
Emeritus
October 28th 2007



7928 Comments


But he didn't change it, he just paraphrased it.

jrowa001
October 28th 2007



8750 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great review, ill check this out since i like your recommended bands

Crimson
October 29th 2007



1935 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

But he didn't change it, he just paraphrased it.

No, well, I have changed it, it's just the same ideas still there. That's what I was meant to do when I first put it there, as I liked the idea, but I obviously didn't.
Still though, you're right. But I just couldn't think of any more to add in at the time,so had a look at other reviewers for ideas.



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