Melodic Death metal is what Be’lakor, who formed in 2004, are masters of. The Australian band is back with their 3rd album “Of Breath and Bone,” which is the follow up to their excellent 2009 sophomore release “Stone’s Reach”. Upon my first listen and to “Of Breath and Bone” I knew right away it was destined to make my Top 10 of 2012 list. The album was released in Europe and most of the rest of the world last year but now North Americans can get their hands on a physical copy of this gem.
“Of Breath and Bone” consists of eight tracks and everyone of them flows to perfection. It all starts with the guitar work. The album is laced with heavy chugging riffs layered with breathtaking melodies and numerous tempo changes and also some beautiful acoustic guitar playing on the song ‘To Stir Sea’.
George Kosmos is very impressive on vocals, aggressive, thunderous and emotional on such tracks like ‘Abeyance’ and ‘In Parting’. His growling is at top of the list along side Amon Amarth‘s Johan Hegg and Insomnium‘s Niilo Sevanen. The drums are attention- grabbing and at times chaotic but balances out perfectly. Keyboards/piano add emotion and are on full display when featured on tracks like ‘The Dream and The Waking’.
One of the first things that piqued my interest and definitely caught my eye for this album was the instant classic cover art. It shows a Little Red Riding Hood character holding a loaf of bread lovingly smiling down at a wolf who is snarling and looks like at anytime he’s going to leap to take the bread then for her throat. You are afraid and curious at the same time to see where this album will take you.
In closing, “Of Breath and Bone” is a well- executed album that I’ve had the pleasure of listening to and after numerous plays it still leaves me wanting more.