Review By David Pearce
Label: Razorline Records
Release Date: 12th April 2016
1. Frozen Steps of Utøya
2. I. Machine
3. Heal the Wounds
5. Dance Macabre
6. Breathe In Silence
7. Killing Time
8. Army of One
9. My Revolution
10. Speak To Me
BEHOLDER are a British Heavy Metal band from the Midlands. In 2009 they released “The Awakening” and since then they have been praised by the media and fans, relentlessly touring in the UK, Europe and Scandinavia, building a healthy fan base wherever they go. In 2011 with the addition of Scott Taylor to the fold, they embarked on a project to build a new album with power and intensity which was released in 2013, titled “The Order Of Chaos” with 12 tracks of blistering music that turned heads everywhere. Three years later the band have now completed “Reflections”, comprising of ten songs of unadulterated metal to enjoy.
The album kicks off with ‘Frozen Steps Of Utøya’, which begins with a ticking clock then straight into a guitar riff from Scott Taylor and with a solid drum beat from Chris Bentley, which grabs my attention straight away. The song is a classic heavy metal song with good riffs and classic vocals of Simon Hall, which sets a quality tone to start the album. The second and third songs ‘I. Machine’ and ‘Heal the Wounds’ follow the same high intensity that BEHOLDER have given their fans from day one. The tracks feature quality guitar work along with pounding drums and harsh vocals, but what I really do like is the ending on ‘I. Machine’ – quality soft guitar riff work with a touch of the cymbals and a mix of soft vocals, which demonstrates the versatility of the band. ‘Heal the Wounds’ has got some really solid solo guitar work, along with the vocals which change from harsh to clean from Hall witj backing vocals from Si Fielding. Mid way through the song there is a top notch guitar solo from Taylor which BEHOLDER are known for.
Moving on to track four, ‘Host’ is a song which has some stunning guitar work and a fast drumbeat which then settles into a mid-paced number, with vocals well delivered throughout. It makes way for tracks five and six, ‘Dance Macabre’ and ‘Breathe In Silence’. ‘Dance Macabre’ starts off with a good strong drum beat from Bentley along with a heavier guitar riff from Taylor, Hall’s vocals are more intense and delivered with a slower style in this song, giving it the edge it needs. ‘Breathe In Silence’ begins with the volume low, slowly increasing, with more quality riffage from Taylor along with a strong drumbeat, then Hall’s vocals kick in with menace and I can’t help but start to bang my head to it.
Tracks seven and eight are ‘Killing Time’ and ‘Army of One’. ‘Killing Time’ has a different feel to it than the other songs on the album, being slower paced with a long instrumental before Hall’s vocals come in, but it holds its own on the album which I like. The track really contributed to the strength of “Reflections”. ‘Army of One’ is a well delivered song, with quality guitar work from Fielding and Taylor and the vocals are top class from Hall, all brought together by the pounding drums from Bentley. Track nine and ten are ‘My Revolution’ and ‘Speak To Me’, ‘My Revolution’ starts with a high intensity drum solo from Bentley, giving way to Hall’s commanding vocals in the middle of the song, which are melodic and then back again along with some top quality guitar work from Taylor throughout and is probably my favourite on the album to be honest. ‘Speak To Me’ is what I would call a perfect end to an album – Taylor‘s guitar work gives this track its own identity, the flanged guitar giving the start a bit of an edge, then the pace hots up. The track comes to life with the guitar riff and pounding drums from Bentley, combining these with Hall‘s killer vocals, giving everything he has, combine to end the album perfectly.
“Reflections” has been a long time in development, but damn it has been worth the wait from the band at the forefront of UK Metal. The BEHOLDER crew did not hold back and they are getting better and better with every album. If you have not got a copy yet why not buy it, you will not be disappointed!
Vocals: Simon Hall
Guitar and Vocals: Scott Taylor
Bass and Vocals: Si Fielding
Drums: Chris Bentley
All musical content written, composed and arranged by Taylor, Bentley and Fielding.
For more information on BEHOLDER visit this location.