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  BEHOLDER
'Reflections'
(Razorline Records Ltd)
Release Date: Tuesday 12th April 2016

Johnny Main

johnny main



beholder

Hailing from the Midlands, Beholder have been making a name for themselves since they formed back in early part of the century. Their first full length release, 'The Awakening', saw the light of day in 2010 and was praised by both media and fans across the UK and they slowly started to build their fan base.

'The Order Of Chaos' followed in 2013 and recorded, engineered and mastered by frontman Simon Hall, alongside former Beholder guitarist Simon Cliffe. Proving to be a very much "hands on" outfit, the band released the album on their own label, Razorline Records, ensuring full control over the contents.

Beholder's rise on the live scenes in the UK, European and Scandinavian have been backed up by performances at Metalfest in Croatia as well as UK festivals like Bloodstock Open Air, Hammerfest, Hard Rock Hell along with appearances at numerous smaller festival appearances and have cemented the bands standing with both fans and industry alike.

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Album number three, 'Reflections' may have taken a long time to finally arrive and bearing in mind the quality of the 'The Order Of Chaos', but it succeeds on pretty much every front – it's powerful, intense yet still manages to retain the aggressive melodies the have become a trademark of the Beholder sound.

A ticking clock announces the arrival of 'Frozen Steps' before drummer Chris Bentley and guitarist Scott Taylor kick start the album in fine style. The mix of vocals between Hall and Taylor are a good mix of harsh sounding vocals set against the more melodic lines which work well with the razor sharp riff and pummelling drums.

Bentley is at the core of 'I, Machine' as he sets the track in fine style during the long intro before it settles down. As Hall's vocals get going though, it's a cornucopia of sound which all come together to make a classy track and a firm favourite of mine from a very early listen. "Eat, Sleep, Work, Die" is their mantra here as Hall delivers the line with power but as the song climaxes it offers something different that the usual climactic finale as it's pared right back to a simple mix of soft voice and guitar (with a touch of cymbals) showing that the band aren't afraid to do things a bit differently.

beholder

The band like their long instrumental solos that open quite a few of the tracks here. 'Host' is a good example of this as Taylor's guitar work take centre stage. As the number progresses, Bentley holds down the fast drum beat but it doesn't last too long as the track settles into a solid mid paced number. It makes way for the big heavy guitar chords of 'Dance Macabre' thanks to Bentley's opening salvo. There's a much slower and more intense vocal from Hall whose vocals are tinged with menace. The backing vocals courtesy of bass player Simon Fielding fill out the chorus giving it extra depth. This is another track that firmly supplanted itself as a firm favourite of mine from an early listen, and this remains a standout track some two weeks later and counting.

'Killing Time' is one of the slower paced number with another long instrumental intro before the vocals begin. The vocals remain very much in the back of the mix here which gives the track a unique sound but Hall spares nothing in his performance. Album closer 'Speak To Me', is, however, by far and away the slowest track here – but don't worry – that band haven't gone all wibbly and acoustic - this song still manages to pack a punch. Taylor's flanged guitar gives the track its own identity at the beginning and as the pace picks up as the track really comes to life as the main guitar riff and drums come in. From here on in it's back to the norm with Hall's killer vocals as he gives it everything he's got one final time.

Overall it's a fine effort from the Beholder boys and even though it's been a long time coming, the long wait is forgivable when you hear the quality of tracks here. With the band's gig diary filling up fast, if you're afforded the opportunity to see them live at a local gig or a festival, then make sure that you – you won't be disappointed.

You can see the official lyric video for 'Speak To Me' here:



You can see Beholder live here:
Friday 8th April – Firebug, Leicester
Saturday 9th April – The Junction, Plymouth
Saturday 16th April – The Wheatsheaf, Oxford
Friday 22nd April – Yardbrids, Grimsby
Friday 29th April – Club 85, Hitchin
Saturday 30th April – Nambucca, London

'Reflections' Tracklisting:
Frozen Steps of Utøya
I, Machine
Heal The Wounds
Host
Dance Macabre
Breathe In The Silence
Killing Time
Army Of One
My Revolution
Speak To Me

Beholder are:
Simon Hall – Vocals
Scott Taylor – Guitar/Vocals
Simon Fielding – Bass Guitar/Backing Vocals
Chris Bentley – Drums


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7.4.2016












 


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