Album Review: Be’lakor – Vessels

Album Review: Be’lakor – Vessels

Band: Be’lakor Album: VESSELS Genre: Melodic death metal Location: Melbourne, Australia Date of Release: 24 June 2016 Reviewer: Luke Frizon For Fans Of: Mors Principum Est, Omnium Gatherum Concept albums are an enormous undertaking for the artist and for the listener to internalise. Often the “concept” is lost in the narrative, or the structure isn’t cohesive enough to let the story flow from one song into another. It’s incredibly difficult to create standalone songs that form the pillars of a larger work. Succeeding in this so effortlessly is what makes Be’lakor’s new record so impressive. VESSELS is a colossal record with an original yet somehow heartwarmingly familiar story to tell. The supreme songwriting talent these enigmatic and skilled musicians display only enhances the storyline. VESSELS takes the listener on a journey through time and space, growth, death, and evolution. Each song is a chapter which expands the story’s scope in a unique way, first from the perspective of travelling light, then from the matter it touches, and finally from the beings that interact with that matter. The narrative doesn’t just follow a path, it proliferates – deepening in complexity as creatures higher in the evolutionary chain take the stage. One aspect of these songs I deeply admire is that they perfectly reflect the mood of the lyrics. There’s enough room for each element to not only breathe, but to flourish. This is perfectly illustrated in standout track ‘Withering Strands’. While all songs are linked intrinsically, this one contrasts Be’lakor’s volatile and brutal nature with a more pensive side. Beginning with ethereal melodies, it sweeps into hook after hook with...
Album Review: The Black Dahlia Murder – “Abysmal”

Album Review: The Black Dahlia Murder – “Abysmal”

Album: Abysmal Band: The Black Dahlia Murder Location: Waterford, Michigan, USA Date of Release: 18th September 2015 Genre: Melodic death metal Reviewer: Thall For Fans Of: At The Gates, Widow The Sea, Job For A Cowboy Track Listing: 1. Receipt 4:02 2. Vlad, Son of the Dragon 2:56 3. Abysmal 3:41 4. Re-Faced 3:50 5. Threat Level No. 3 3:46 6. The Fog 3:50 7. Stygiophobic 3:14 8. Asylum 3:38 9. The Advent 3:41 10. That Cannot Die Which Eternally Is Dead 4:29 The Black Dahlia Murder continues their three-syllable album theme in a dark, horrifying, and haunting manner. Abysmal furthers the era of TBDM, this being their seventh full-length effort and yet still remaining somewhat true to their humble beginnings. There is zero bullshit. No intros. No interludes. Fully, committed compositions ready to tie you down. The vocals are still gritty and menacing, and the instrumentals are stylistically progressing into more virtuoso territory for the genre. If the next generation or two wanted to start a melo-death band, then they have to be shown the 21st century pioneers of the genre – The Black Dahlia Murder. Ever since their album ‘Ritual’, I believe that the band has had an underlying motivation to push the boundaries like never before. There is an emphasis on a wide range of instruments, styles, keys, and studio-magic, whilst still holding onto the raw, home-grown, and traditional vibes that the band was founded on. This is demonstrated through the use of orchestration at the exposition of the album – straight away, bang! This trend continues on, accompanied by excellent shredding from the lead guitarist,...
Song: Hollow World – “The Wrath Kept Within”

Song: Hollow World – “The Wrath Kept Within”

Song: The Wrath Kept Within Band: Hollow World Location: Melbourne, Victoria Date of Release: 07/07/2015 Genre: Melodic Death Metal Reviewer: Welmanshire For Fans Of: The Black Dahlia Murder, Golden Gaytimes, Buffalo Bills. Why They Aren’t Famous: They’ll get there eventually. I’ve made some significant withdrawals from the Bank Of Memory throughout the days of my youth. I suspect that as I take passage into my elder years, I’ll find my balance to be modest and my credit questionable at best. For that reason I won’t bore you with a trip down the fragmented and denigrated lane that is my memory; I wouldn’t trust what we would find, and it’s likely we’ll bump into some frighteningly objectionable characters along the way. Chad Kroeger’s Father once said: “Drugs are a waste of time. They destroy your memory and self-respect and everything that goes along with your self-esteem. They’re no good at all” That’s not actually funny in any way, but it rings true. Prolonged experimentation with drugs (expert of denial) will make you forget things. Like the point I’m trying to make. I seriously can’t remember. Anyway, I believe I was planning a segue into how fucking inspiring Melbourne melodic death metallers Hollow World are. So let’s talk about their song The Wrath Kept Within, and why you should listen to it immediately. The track opens with a true to roots melodic death metal riff which showcases the backbone of the band. The vocals in The Wrath Within are solid as all hell; Ben Roberts’ highs are frantic, fluid and full of raw energy – you could draw comparisons with The...
Song: Diminish The Gods – “Invasion”

Song: Diminish The Gods – “Invasion”

Song: Invasion Band: Diminish The Gods Location: Sydney, NSW Date of Release: 05/05//2015 Genre: Melodic Death Metal Reviewer: Welmanshire (Twitter – @Welmanshire) For Fans Of: Veil Of Maya, Within The Ruins, Conducting From The Grave Why They Aren’t Famous: Most likely due to a lack of self-promotion/presumably smoking too many billy’s. I try not to buy into the ostentation surrounding a lot of emerging Australian bands, as it’s usually the brand of excitement perpetuated by people with a questionable motive at best. This is just my opinion, but often in the Australian scene we engage in a raging form of mutual ego-masturbation in an attempt to get ahead, ultimately resulting in some bands being so fluffed up and bloated with praise that it’s simply impossible to live up to the hype. This isn’t exclusively Australian, of course – there have always been particular bands championed above others for their originality, or cohesion with the current trending metal culture, or for whatever reason – and it’s usually well-founded. I’d heard a lot about Sentinel – Melbourne’s new deathcore kids on the block, for example, before hearing any of their music, and I admit that the hype was pretty legitimate. I won’t go down the road of naming any bands I don’t believe are deserving of their belated praise – as music comes down to objectivity, it would be like me saying “Dogs are better than Cats” because that’s simply what I believe. (Also, Dogs are 100% better than Cats. Cats are gross) An undesirable symptom of this reluctance is often being late to the cool band party and missing out...
Song: Parallel Horizons – “Rift”

Song: Parallel Horizons – “Rift”

Song: Rift Band: Parallel Horizons Location: Hong Kong, China Date of Release: 28/03/2015 Genre: Metalcore/Melodic Death Metal Reviewer: Welmanshire For Fans Of: Still Remains, The Black Dahlia Murder, Methadone Why They Aren’t Famous: Just that Democratic Centralism keeping the man down, man I need to preface this review by stating that I have a love affair with Asian heavy music. It pays homage to the true roots of the genres, whether it be Punk, Hardcore and Metal, but embodies a unique sound and personality away from the confining trends that a lot of bands influenced by American heavy music face. They can often take innovation and songwriting to a new level while their western mates (that’s us) in Australia, UK, and the US sometimes struggle to cut through. I think this is mostly for Punk Rock but holds true for other genres under the heavy banner from countries like Japan and China as well. Take Japan’s FACT for example – effortlessly shifting from Punk Rock to Post-Hardcore to Metal and everything between, with an easily recognisable and individual sound. I was excited when I stumbled across the submission from Hong Kong’s Parallel Horizons, partly because of their location, and partly because they had labelled themselves as Melodic Death Metal, of which I’m a big fan. While I was a little disappointed they didn’t seem to share the quirky innovation of other Chinese Metal, the band is essentially a solid Melodic Death Metal band with Metalcore influences, namely in the clean vocal parts and breakdowns. They’re not necessarily copying other bands, but their sound is closer to modern American Melodic...
Time To Feel Old: These Albums Are 10 Years Old This Year

Time To Feel Old: These Albums Are 10 Years Old This Year

by Erised The other day when I was taking one of my frequent trips down nostalgia lane, I happened to notice the release date of one of my favourite albums of all time. You can cringe all you want, but Bullet For My Valentine’s “The Poison” is still to this day an enjoyable listen for me and it genuinely made me feel old as fuck when I realised that it was released in 2005. 10. Fucking. Years. Ago. Now, I’m well aware that I’m 28 years-old this year, and that the first flush of youth has well and truly deserted me, but I was unprepared for the realisation that MANY of my favourite albums hail from this amazing 12 month period. Not only did I reach official adulthood in December of ’05, but my musical horizons also broadened dramatically, thanks largely to the efforts I’m about to detail to you throughout this article. So strap yourself in, dear reader, and prepare to literally feel the youthful exuberance drain away from you to be replaced with the ennui of old age as you remember vividly exactly what you were doing and where you were in your life when you first heard these classic albums…10. Fucking. Years. Ago. Bullet For My Valentine – “The Poison” I’m going to start with the album that I referenced in the intro. When I encountered this album for the first time, I had only recently gotten into music with screaming in it. Prior to encountering Metalcore via Metal Hammer, I had previously served a long musical apprenticeship under messrs Hetfield and Hammet, Mustaine and Friedman,...
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