Album: Stone's Reach
Country Of Origin: Australia
Release Date: February 5th, 2009
Label: Kolony Records
1. Venator 00:00
2. From Scythe to Spectre 08:37
3. Outlive the Hand 15:36
4. Sun's Delusion 24:15
5. Held in Hollows 33:25
6. Husks 40:48
7. Aspect 43:37
8. Countless Skies 49:28
Total Length: 59:27
Be'lakor present us in "Stone's Reach" with the epitome of progressive death metal. In the years to come (and I write this just a couple of weeks before their next release is scheduled to hit the market), I believe that it will be VERY difficult to top this effortby anyone out there in the progressive, melodic death scene.
There are several reviews out there for this cd that fault it for the length of the tracks and its progressive tendencies which appears to be to be missing the point entirely. This cd is a masterpiece precisely because of these features. Each track delivers to us so many different facets of metal as to make description difficult. If you have any love for progressive metal and can handle the low, growled vocals, this is for you.
For me, this cd has the best of all worlds. The vocals, provided by George Kosmas, are very low and dark and fit the lyrics fantastically well. Instrumentally, it doesn't get any better than this: massive riffing, haunting melodies, copious tempo changes, and superb drumming. There is variation to be found everywhere one looks. One particular feature to highlight is the use of keyboards and piano in each track, providing a great deal of somber atmospherics.
The cd is nearly a full hour in length, yet only contains 8 tracks, and one of those is a 3-minute instrumental. Needless to say, the other 7 tracks average out to be around 8 minutes each, which is yet another indication of the progressive nature of this effort.
While it is very difficult to pick individual favorites, the 9-minute song "Sun's Delusion" may characterize the cd as a whole with its gorgeous, classically-inspired outro which is preceded by several melodies that will rattle around your head for days to come.
The track "Ventator" that leads off the cd tells a dark fantasy story with the superb use of the dark growls playing the role of the lead character in the story, and the music and cold atmosphere provide a chilling backdrop for the outstanding lyrics. Every time I listen to this track, I am transported to that dark, cold cave - truly a great experience.
This is one for the ages. Their next effort doesn't even have to come close to still being excellent, and if we are lucky enough to be treated to similar fare, we are all in for a special treat in 2012.
- concertmusic, June 5th, 2012
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