BEHOLDER - Reflections

Beholder - Reflections

10 songs
46:50 minutes
***** ****


When I received the new CD Reflections by Beholder, the band name sounded instantly familiar. I soon noticed that I mistook them for an Italian heavy metal band I twice reviewed in the early millennium before they broke up soon after. The current Beholder are from Coventry in England and were only founded when the other had long ceased to exist. The British Beholder started as a traditional thrash metal band that has added progressive elements over the years.

Reflections is already their third album. I am not familiar with their previous albums from 2009 and 2013 but canít imagine that they sound as good as the new one. The beginning of the opener Frozen Steps Of Utoya reminds me of Hades, a criminally overlooked progressive thrash metal band from the Eighties. Just like their vocalist Alan Tecchio, Beholderís Simon Hall also manages to use his voice in a very varied way. His delivery is fast and mindful to add a wide cast of emotions. Next to dramatic and agitated parts, there is also room for anger that comes sometimes very close to death metal growls. The three musicians have no problems to follow his elaborations with their instruments that are tuned rather low, helping to give Reflections a very powerful sound. The bass sounds incredibly brutal, the guitar is restless and no one can say that the drummer is sparing his kit. Some of the songs sound very complex, demanding all of the listenerís attention. At times the material heads into straighter thrash metal territory with surprising twists that allow also for melodic moments. Heal The Wounds and Host are two good examples of that modus operandi. A stranger track is Killing Time with its Viking metal influences that remind me a little of Bathory.

The three year waiting period was well worth the time. Beholder have come back with an extremely mature and varied heavy metal album that is hard to rival. If Reflections wonít bring this band success, then there is hardly any justice left in the world of music.

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