Of Breath and Bone
Melodic Death Metal
Australian melodic death metal band Be’lakor has over the years crafted a name for themselves, with 2009’s excellent Stone’s Reach in particular leaving a rather deep impression of the band’s style of music. After 3 years of wait, the band finally releases the follow up, Of Breath and Bone and is perhaps one of the very few melodic death metal albums that I actually look forward to listening to.
The comparisons to other similar-styled melodic death metal bands such as Insomnium and In Mourning become extremely clear as the album opens with Abyeance, though Be’lakor on this album has expanded their sound slightly, with vocalist George’s growls starting to sound more like Christian Älvestam, and the slight progressive feel that the band has incorporated on Of Breath and Bone at times reminds the listener of his work with Scar Symmetry, minus the clean vocals that the aforementioned band usually has in their music. Of course, all the traits that make Be’lakor such a stellar act in the first place are still present, with the extremely melodic guitar lines that are present in the music, managing to pull the emotions strings within the listener.
Each of the instruments in the band are also present with specific purposes, and this is clearest in the guitar department. While one guitar would typically be driving the music forward with the sharp riffs, the other would be at the background providing the sense of melody, helping to enhance the atmospheric feel in the music along with the keyboards of Steve. Songs like Absit Omen even provide a slight orchestral moment with the strings, further pushing that emotional appeal of Be’lakor‘s music.
Tracks on Of Breath and Bone also typically run for more than 6 minutes, with the exception of the interlude track To Stir the Sea, but the band manages to make proper use of these long run times to build the atmosphere in the track, ensuring that each track is a unique emotional experience in its own rights. The ability to constantly keep the listener enchanted is also evidence of the band’s mastery in songwriting, and while most bands struggle to engage the listeners, the smooth flow of the music makes Be’lakor sound as if writing such quality music were a breeze.
While the melodic death metal tag more often than not brings to mind bands that tend to lean towards the metalcore genre, Be’lakor has managed to really retain that element of melody in their music, and Of Breath and Bone could perhaps change the minds of some naysayers of the genre, with the album sounding like a nice cross between bands like Insomnium and Scar Symmetry.