Beholder – Reflections

Beholder – Reflections

Released April 12th 2016

Progressive power metal

Released via Razorline Music

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Throughout the whole of their career, one of the most noticeable, stand-out features of the Beholder sound has been the vocal style of frontman, Simon Hall. Falling somewhere between Ronnie James Dio and Blayze Bayley (although with significantly more bite and snarl), his is a voice most certainly soaked and aged in classic metal. He actually has a beautiful set of pipes for such a great mountain of a man, but plays out on the rougher end of the field a lot of the time.

On Reflections, however, the musical backdrop has altered noticeably from that on previous releases. If you’ve followed Beholder from their earthly beginnings, you’ll most likely have picked up on the djent/prog leanings which supplemented their original power/thrash sound on sophomore album The Order Of Chaos. Well, that edge has been ploughed up and lathered on with a spade for 2016. Think that sounds like a bad thing? You’re wrong. Throw any negative associations you have (involuntarily?) cultivated surrounding djent and prog in recent times clean out the window.

What Beholder have done here is create a machine out of organic parts; a kind of ironclad Frankenstein’s monster of sorts. No carbon copy from the sub-genre factory, this is cutting edge experimentation. No doubt this is informed by their old school roots, and where Hall’s vocal seem like they should clash on paper, they actually do more to make this a unique and flawless article. It could potentially see them held aloft as a contender for ‘the big leagues’, pulling up behind the Gojiras and Mastodons who have climbed the ranks on their own terms.

With a cold and angry attitude, Reflections is defiant upstart, calling the world to rights. The raised fist. The death-stare. It’s a new phase in the band’s development, and I don’t think they’ve ever sounded better.

5/5

Paul Macmillan

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