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BEHOLDER – ‘Reflections’ REVIEW

BEHOLDER – ‘Reflections’ REVIEW

Some bands burst on to the metal scene in spectacular fashion, driven by dreams, passion and sometimes even talent.  However, these traits alone weren’t enough to herald the birth of the BEHOLDER lads, who since 2003 have hit hard and stood tall, and as in their previous two records are back with something that clearly is evident of the outstanding character of this band. Something a lot of bands out there should take note of.  Front man Simon Hall and I once discussed the anger and frustration that the band feel toward the system we live in, and we both agreed that although one man (or one band) cannot change the world, he can be the change in the world, no matter how small or insignificant others may see his efforts.

‘Reflections’ is most definitely stepping out with its best foot forward continuing the rage and the onslaught with an album that delivers messages out against those on high, and will not only be an awesome ear-shredding event for the listener, but will do a ‘Bruce Banner’ to ‘Hulk’ apocalyptic performance once on the stage, taking all conventions and shoving them where the sun is most unlikely to shine; having said all that, ‘Reflections’ is a production of well harnessed and some very fine melodies and anthems with a very positive outlook.  So after a beautiful intro the powerful and astonishing ‘Frozen Steps of Utopia’ opens the album perfectly. This is a killer track. A stabbing rhythm of spitfire accuracy with thought provoking lyrics and a mix of clean and growling vocals that are imploring and overflowing with passion. This ladies and germs is how to kick off an album with ferocity and style.

If you can have chalk and cheese in the one song, well then I give you ‘I Machine’ which is crisscrossed with sweet harmonies and no holds barred violence.  A heavy weight of chugging guitars and layers of unusual textures of light and dark that ends with a charming and tinkling solo. ‘Killing Time’ is another stand out track, an anthem of epic proportions and very atmospheric. BEHOLDER has a way of penning a tune that grabs at your guts with those mighty hooks and terrorising you at the same time, so if I haven’t made it clear yet, I love this album.

When a bunch of lads are whole hearted in the art of constructing something meaningful and memorable there can only be one result. This album is a creation built on emotions and honesty, and I can tell you now, I can feel it! The crafting of the songs alone are enough to convince anyone of the thoughtful intelligence that was put in place when this lot hit the studio, not only that, but after 2 or 3 listens you will also be able to see as clear as day that the order in which they are positioned in the album works like a story which has its beginning, middle and ending in the proper order and an in your face attitude which shouts, screams and growls of dedication.

And so ‘Speak To Me’ draws this 10 track uninhibited collection of emotional and angry progressive metal to a close. This track is probably my favourite as the wonderful ICED EARTH touch didn’t go unnoticed. ‘Speak To Me’ is a monster of a tune with a big voice and a big glorious chorus which is definitely movie theme material that begs you to sit up and pay attention! And once again ladies and germs, this is how you finish an album. I just can’t stress enough the professionalism of this album but more importantly, how I felt after I listened to it.  Although the ferocity and sheer aggression smacks you hard on the chops the entirety of the album, there’s an overwhelming sense of the deep and emotional agenda that BEHOLDER have made their trademark that completely defines their music and them as musicians and entertainers. Just a fab album, don’t miss out on a fine piece of art.

Words By Brenda