Be’Lakor – Vessels (Album Review)

BeLakor – Vessels

 Out July 1st via Napalm Records <>

George Kosmas // Guitar & Vocals
Shaun Sykes // Lead Guitar
John Richardson // Bass
Steve Merry // Piano & Keyboard
Elliot Sansom // Drums

Winter is upon us all in Australia, meaning some music to accompany us all through the dark, gloomy days is required to break from the monotony of freezing to death. Thusly, what could be better than a dark, gloomy band to express exactly how we feel? If it’s BeLakor, then the answer is: nothing. Nothing is better.

Progressive death metal Melbournians, BeLakor, have been creating aural masterworks ever since their first album The Frail Tide in 2007, fusing ambient, atmospheric pieces with the technicality and brutality of death metal. Upcoming release Vessels does much of the same but with more finesse and skill than their previous albums, showcasing a vast range of sounds and skills that have become synonymous with the name BeLakor.

belakor-vessels-napalm-records-2016Vocalist George Kosmas seems to be attempting (and wholly succeeding) to haunt the dreams of his listeners with deep, terrifying Swallow the Sun-esque vocals pulsing their way through the music. He entrenches a sense of unease and doom in each song, retreating to harsh whispers then back to his eerie screams and ambient shrieks, perfectly complimenting the music. Upon getting past the brilliance of his vocals and delving into the lyrics, amazement will hit again at the poeticism being employed from the very first track. ‘Luma, the opening number is only the start of a journey that is woven throughout the entire album, ranging from the triumphant to the discordant;  truly masterful work.

However, the lyrics aren’t the only threads of brilliance in this intricate tapestry, the guitar and keyboard pair astoundingly well to create rich soundscapes that range from hauntingly beautiful to gloomily emotional, both ends of the spectrum laden with technicality that are startling to behold. Much like Ne Obliviscaris, the atmospheric moments are magical, but unlike the aforementioned, BeLakor have seamlessly stitched together these moments of light and dark, giving the listener room to breathe and fully appreciate what they’re listening to. In noting this, it is not to say that this album isn’t heavy, because it well and truly is. Moments abound of such ferocity and explosive speed you’ll wonder exactly how the band has worked the sounds together so competently.

An Embers Arc’ and ‘A Thread Dissolves’ are highlights of the album, culminating in a  faithful representation of Vessel’s scope, blending all the elements that are truly, BeLakor. Most of the songs push over the 7 minute mark, but this shouldn’t put you off, as it allows for the raw beauty of the music to resonate with the listener, as well as allow the subtle flashes of brilliance that  may have been missed before to be discovered. This album is a serious grower, getting more layered and enjoyable with every listen, allowing one to appreciate every effort and labour that was put into it.

The intricacy and overall atmospheric presence of Vessels is personally, the perfect companion on these blustery, abyssal nights. A real example of great music at it’s darkest and equally brilliant.

— Dylonov Tomasivich

Tracklist —

  1. Luma
  2. An Ember’s Arc
  3. Withering Strands
  4. Roots to Sever
  5. Whelm
  6. A Thread Dissolves
  7. Grasping Light
  8. The Smoke of Many Fires


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2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Steve Merry – Be’lakor ‘The Metal Receptacle’ – Wall Of Sound
  2. Be’lakor tour starts this weekend! We meet the support cast! – Wall Of Sound

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