Be’lakor have dominated the metal scene of Melbourne for the better part of a decade. Their legacy is much richer, with 5 albums having the brute force of a pressure powered sledgehammer. Their latest album Coherence is the first after 2016’s Vessels, received by fans with great aplomb. Now they chart into newer sounds and expressions. Let’s dive into Coherence.
The first track Locus is a 10 minute epic that uses strained, delayed guitars-an army to be clear by the produced sound. It is an intense buildup for what will be an exciting album. A resurgence of sorts, after 5 years of preparing the highest quality of metal that can come from a band of this caliber. The melodic riffs are consequential to the kind of groove metal/prog hybrid Be’lakor go for. The dark undertones of this track set a rhythm that only Be’lakor can follow with their relentless drive.
Between the melodic & madness
The Dispersion serves as an interlude with the keys. It is a short, much required track to tip the scales back from the gravity which we just experienced. Soaring guitars glide on this piano arpeggio, whittling a way for the next song, Foothold. Released as a single earlier last year, Foothold merges some thrash energy with Be’lakors guitar symphonies. The synths play an immensely important role, grabbing the reins every time the guitars stray away to charm us. It is a melodic, powerful track, Be’lakor layer several styles of guitar, making an energetic track with surprises along the way, with no compromises.
Valence builds to heights that aren’t focusing on a simple riff to carry the song through. The overlapping melodies create for one of the best metal tracks I’ve heard all year. Not an understatement, choosing the right progression to play over and not separating the virtuosic prowess that they have. The spacing within the track always makes for an exciting and unpredictable segue that reworks on what the trained ear can expect from Be’lakor.
Balancing with an acoustic sound
Switching to an acoustic opening, a welcome change of pace is once again detected in Be’lakor’s extremely clean track composition. Make sure that shuffle button is off and you’ll have a journey that is transcendental. Around 1:12 seconds in is when the electric guitar takes over, bringing unseen depth to the kind of song that Sweep of Days is. Reminds me of Orion’s position in Master of Puppets. The inspirational guitar arpeggio keeps the listener hooked, and makes for a memorable instrumental chorus. Words fall short in describing what mastery they’ve done with a comparatively minimal track.
A confluence of styles
Hidden Window merges the inclusive, gravitational nature of the acoustic and electric. After the opening, we hear an explosive riff guiding us into the prog rock masterpiece Hidden Window is. The overlapping nature of the riff makes for great experimentation. This seems to be a listener’s favorite as well, with the highest number of streams in this album. The instrumentality with supreme syncopation makes for a memorable bridge section with an intense buildup on the fore. I’ve really dug the riffs in this track, considering that its almost a library in many ways.
Indelible enhances itself with the ambient nature of its opening sounds. Crafting an edge within the track for experimentation, Be’lakor makes a crescendo of a climb. Like a cliff, it pans to show the whole surface before the acoustic mid section creates a melodic confluence of styles. By the time the electric guitars enter, it only feels like an organic growth to that stage, almost welcoming as a solid entryway.
Much More Was Lost is the closing track for this album. Like the opening, this too is a 12 minute epic that takes you through a tale of sorts. Be’lakor have never sounded better, shifting sounds and streams yet staying true to the sound that brought them here. They have taken a massive stride via sound since their last album, but know what the limits of creativity are. Never afraid to push and shove beyond mediocrity, they’ve made another masterpiece album, shaped by the time that they have worked on it.
Promotional Disclaimer: The content in this post has been sponsored by the artist, label, or PR representative to help promote their work.Promotional Disclaimer: The content in this post has been sponsored by the artist, label, or PR representative to help promote their work.