Review: Beholder – Reflections
Razorline Music (April 2016)
Reviewer: Stephen Brophy
There have been a lot of rumblings going around about the quality of new Beholder album and that this was going to be something quite special indeed and do you know what, they were absolutely bang on. Reflections is not only probably Beholder’s best piece of work to date but is also probably the UK album of the year already. The lead single and video for ‘Frozen Steps Of Utoya‘ was certainly more than enough to peak my interest, for me it’s the best thing the band have done and had me very eager to hear the rest of the album.
Ten tracks on offer here and each of them has it’s own story to tell, nothing under five minutes in length so almost an hour of a masterpiece for us all to enjoy. Of course Simon Hall is still spitting venom throughout, and in all honesty there are probably more reasons and subjects to be aggrieved about in 2016 than ever before, and it’s always important to have a questioning voice, often there aren’t nearly enough of them. This time around the riffs are just so sharp on this album, mixed with some excellent solo work throughout, take one of the album highlights ‘Heal The Wounds‘ where the guitars weave their way in and out around the vocals, with an oh so solid beat and riff running right through the middle.
Overall it’s probably the sheer variety on offer here that keeps the attention as much as the quality of the songs. Other highlights include the powerful ‘Killing Time‘, which along with some other tracks on the album have an almost Progressive feel to them, but still 100% Metal. Everything doesn’t have to run at one hundred miles an hour to be heavy, there is plenty of aggression served up through the slower parts of this album. Add in ‘Army Of One‘, the grim but flowing ‘Dance Macabre‘ and classy closer ‘Speak To Me‘, everything just knits together so well here, even on first listen the impression that a hell of a lot of effort has been made not only in the creation of the album, but how it’s been produced, and how the order of the tracks has been presented.
There’s a whole world of music out there, make this album a part of your musical world, it’s just that good, terrific job by all involved. Beholder have made a step up with this album, and hopefully that will see this album heard by a wider audience, it most certainly deserves to be. The guys are going to have to do something really special to top this release next time out and I can’t wait to hear some of these songs pounded out live in the summer.