Reviewed: February 2013
Released: 2013, Razorline
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
The last few years have acted as something of a lift off for Coventry/Leicester mob Beholder. A fine debut album backed up by some devastating live performances at legendary venues such as the Camden Underworld as well as the inevitable festival appearances, most notably Bloodstock where they not only put in one of the best main stage opening performances in 2009 but came back in 2012 and repeated a similar feat with an incendiary Thursday night headlining slot on the Sophie Lancaster stage.
To say 2013 offers Beholder an opportunity to crush the weak beneath their titanic riffs and bellowing vocals is something of an understatement and with the release of sophomore album \’The Order Of Chaos\’ they may just go some way to achieving that feat. By transferring some of that live behemoth of a sound to record the band enter 2013 sounding a whole lot bigger, meaner and clinical but above all, angrier!
The chunkier guitars which envelope every song really hit the listener hard, almost by surprise if you were expecting a carbon copy of the last album. The opening bars of first track \’Black flag\’ sound like Slipknot gearing up for a serious bout of aggression. As usual Simon Hall\’s refreshingly clean vocals gives the chorus a battle cry feel while the solo ensures that the classic metal leanings of the debut have not been consigned to Beholder\’s past.
The newer, more brutal sound is again at the forefront of \’Profit of the lie\’ and \’Killing machine\’ which travel along on a Lamb Of God-esque flurry of guitars and bawling vocals.
Fans of the uplifting choruses that made the debut so captivating need not fear as there are plenty on offer here. \’Here I stand\’ reeks of classic Beholder, Simon Hall\’s roar-kissing but melodic vocals and a chorus big enough to unite the metal legions into one almighty army is an early album gem that will sound even more immense live while \’Morphine serenity\’ is packed so full of melody it threatens to burst and scatter metallic shards through the speakers.
\’Splinter\’ draws you into a world of repressive riffs which act as a constant flow of punches to the mid-riff where as \’The tale of Eleanor Grey\’ in parts adds an almost Skyclad feel to proceedings, creeping story telling vocal lines making way for another sledgehammer of a chorus.
At times the constant barracking about fickle times, corruption and world chaos becomes almost overbearing but it\’s this aural battery that brings a smoky, hard to breath sensation to the album, oozing an intensity that very few British bands will come close to this year. As a result this gives the music a strong, home made power that burns through the soul, each and every musical note biting with extra fervour than before, \’Liar\’ being a prime example as well as another album highlight.
If British metal needed a high powered battering ram then \’The Order Of Chaos\’ has put Beholder in front of the castle walls ready for some action.
Review by Alan Hicks
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