|Review: Beleth - Silent Genesis|
Label: Narcoleptica Productions
Year released: 2021
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: May 12, 2021
Reviewed by: Micah.Ram
Rated 3/5 (60%) (2 Votes)
Here we have a debut album by Australian two-piece band Beleth, who play a blend of Death Metal and Groove Metal. Chris Long has handled the duties of all guitars and drums while Sebasthian Bentos-Periera took vocal and lyrical duties.
The band have seemingly stated that it is hard to pinpoint what subgenre they most fall into, and that may certainly be true for people listening to this. To break it down, what is present here is mostly Groove Metal riffs combined with deep, bellowing vocals that are much more akin to Death Metal. The overall sound is dark, with no noticeable element of brightness in the overall sound production. This tends to lead to the album sounding a bit flat at times, with certain elements not really leaping out at the listener. However, the writing and songs are all competently handled and performed well.
The album has an intro and outro in the tracks "Thirteenth Spirit" and "Denouement." While neither are bad, they do not add anything to the release, and especially the latter track with its length well over three minutes of seemingly aimless meandering is rather unnecessary. The first real song, "Silent Genesis," is one of the standouts of the album with its energetic riffing that is pumped full of attitude and a texturally and harmonically interesting B-section in which the guitars build tensions by presenting rising harmonies over a pedal tone in alternating patterns. The next track, "Cries of the Fatherless," has harmonic elements of interest as well, but unfortunately the best example of it which happens in the middle of the track is an interesting harmony in the guitars behind the main riff which are a bit too distant in the mix to be easily caught, lowering their effectiveness. There was a small but efficient guitar solo near the end, something this album could have used more of, as it adds a bit of flavor.
What follows for the rest of the album is largely a collection of tracks which could have benefitted from more variation. The execution is well done, but the amount of repetition makes some of these tracks uninteresting rather quickly. Despite the hard-rocking lead over the main riff that starts "Heretic," there isn't much else happening in that song to diversify or connect with that attitude from the lead guitar later throughout the song. "Black Speech" and "First Born" both suffer from heavy reliance on Groove Metal riffs that become extremely repetitive and almost one-note for long stretches of time. Although I could complain about the repetitiveness, the energy of these two songs is impactful and perhaps all you need if you're simply looking for something simple to bang your head to. The last song before the outro is "Beleth," which is one of the more interesting tracks on the album. There are short bursts of quick riffs interspersed with some more common-paced riffs that align with much of the riffs on the album. The quick riff moments really enliven the experience and leave me wanting more experimentation with quicker guitar action throughout the album as opposed to only in this song. The song also relies a bit too heavily on the Neapolitan chord in an alternating harmony in a way that lowers the effectiveness of the harmonic progression. In music, a Neapolitan chord can really make a big shift in energy happen within music, but here it is just used too frequently, although perhaps I should not assume that the Neapolitan was the goal in the first place.
All in all, this release is a good start for the band. There is room for improvement, especially within the mixing and mastering, as it feels a bit flat after a while and leaves some elements too far back in the mix, such as the interesting harmonies I mentioned in "Cries of the Fatherless" that would have been nice to hear more up front. More guitar solos and quick riffs mixed into this band's music will also help the work stand out more as well. If you like Groove Metal and want it with Death Metal vocals, that's what this band has on offer.
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