Be'lakor - The Frail Tide
Melodic Death Metal
6 songs (42:50)
Release year: 2007
Reviewed by Goat
Surprise of the month

It’s largely a pity that although it was melodic Death Metal that helped many a Metalhead on their way to the truly heavy stuff, nowadays it’s looked down upon, generally regarded as the commercial cousin to ‘proper’ Death Metal. The likes of In Flames and Soilwork now occupy a niche that was previously occupied by Korn and Limp Bizkit, and most people seem content to dismiss modern bands that attempt the genre as straightforward rip-offs of the two. Unfortunately, they don’t know what they’re talking about, as Australian riff-artists Be’lakor prove by producing what could well be the best Melodeath album ever made.

Moving in a distinctly Progressive direction, far from the crowd-pleasing antics of the aforementioned two, Be’lakor seem determined to return to the roots of the genre with Folk influences and Iron Maidenesque melodies galore. As the shortest song on The Frail Tide is nearly six minutes long you know you’re in for one helluva ride, and there’s few that will be disappointed. With clear influences from the Doom side of things, songs are well assembled, mixing piano flawlessly into the maelstrom, even adding a flute on A Natural Apostasy. There’s an Opeth-y sense of Progressiveness throughout, frequent acoustic sections fitting in well to the overall sound, and contributing to the epic atmosphere that the majority of the songs produce easily. Musicianship is simply excellent, there’s no faulting it throughout.

The band manage to hit all the right notes without the pitfalls of earlier Melodic Deathsters – you won’t find a single clean vocal anywhere on this album, and keyboards are very restrained, the aforementioned piano being the only obvious example. Frequent little guitar leads appear and vanish as if by magic, showing the Metalcore world how it should be done, and although the production could use a teensy-weensy bit of polish, it’s more than enough to show the band at its finest. It’s a tribute to the ability of Be’lakor that a six-minute piano-piece (the wonderful Paths) fits perfectly on the album, and is never boring, rather serving as a extended intro to final song Sanguinary, which ends the album on a high.

In Hollywood sum-it-up-quick terms, this is early Dark Tranquillity meets Opeth meets late My Dying Bride, and if you need more incentive than that there’s something wrong with you. Be’lakor has the talent and imagination to make it big in the Metal world – let’s hope the band gets the kudos that it deserves and continues to impress with its chosen path.

Killing Songs :
Neither Shape Nor Shadow, The Desolation Of Ares, Tre’aste, A Natural Apostasy, Paths, Sanguinary
Goat quoted 88 / 100
Other albums by Be'lakor that we have reviewed:
Be'lakor - Vessels reviewed by Alex and quoted 85 / 100
Be'lakor - Of Breath And Bone reviewed by Goat and quoted 85 / 100
Be'lakor - Stone's Reach reviewed by Goat and quoted 89 / 100
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