Be'lakor The Frail Tide

Australia has planted its stake in the melodic death metal genre a few years too late. Let’s hope a declining interest in the genre doesn’t prevent Be’lakor from rising to prominence. Truth be told, there is a healthy dollop of doom influence here, which brings the genre tag into question, but the mournful, emotionally resonant harmonies are unmistakable and flourish when coupled with the sorrowful acoustics and piano inclusions. Vocally and mood-wise, the group are comparable to Opeth and Daylight Dies, although a bit rowdier and more energetic than recent efforts by the former group or anything by the latter. The recording is exceptionally good, with a tight, snappy drum sound and a rich, dynamic tone. The whole group are performing at a level well beyond their years, and it seems downright absurd that this is an independently released debut. Expect big things soon; Be’lakor are the land down under’s finest offering since Alchemist. Excellent. (Independent)