One of the few good productions from Australia that I’ve come across, Stone’s Reach is Be’lakor’s second attempt at getting the whole melodeath sound. And in a way they have succeeded.
For a guy who would’ve started out with the likes of Insomnium and Amon Amarth, this album would definitely be a treat. This album has all the elements of good melodic death-esque music, everything but the publicity. I came across this band at some random forum and was shocked that they aren’t big, because they have the patterns and the styles typical of commercial bands.
Not underground material definitely. But then again, band of this genre are more often than not dead before they start, unless they hit the jackpot with some big label. Currently they are signed with Kolony Records.
About the album itself, I can easily sum it up as similar to the last two Insomnium albums, production wise. Vocals
are quite similar, and the tones and patches used are deeper but the general sketches of the tracks are identical. Except that this band likes to create an atmosphere with the occasional pauses and then ascending into the choruses or verses. But then again it is equally powerful and catchy.
This production would also fall into the category of those that grow on you. The first time I got my hands on it, my reaction was kind of like what I have said earlier, rip off, nothing different. But then somehow I kept reverting back to it. Now “From Scythe to Sceptre” refuses leave my head. Brilliantly laid out tracks and soothing enough and yet with such varying soundscapes. It wouldn’t let you fall in to reverie without a clue as to when the album began and when it ended. Riffs you would remember and beats that stick, this album is thankfully not retrograded unlike most of the new material that is coming out (and possibly responsible for the slow demise of this genre). The unseen pro of not having a big label hold you up possibly. Either way for a melodic death fanatic, this album is definitely worth it. For those who aren’t too enthusiastic check them out here and realise what this genre is about.
Their previous album “The Frail Tide” was a rawer production, would talk about that one sometime later.
As for this album a 7/10 would be apt.