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Beholder - The order of chaos | FESTIVALPHOTO

Beholder - The order of chaos



It's been a long wait since British heavy metal band Beholder released their last album (The Awakening - released in 2009). Since then there has been one lineup change - Simon Cliffe being replaced on guitar by Scott Taylor (maybe having three Simons in the band just got too confusing). The four year gap doesn't mean the band have been sitting around resting though - they've been touring regularly throughout this time and playing festivals such as Bloodstock. I enjoyed their last album, and their live shows are always great, and having heard some of the new songs live when the band supported Lawnmower Deth in December I was looking forward to hearing this new album.

Well, it was definitely worth the wait. If I was to try and sum up the album with just four words, those words would be.... Powerful, Heavy, Angry, Superb.

Simon Hall's powerful vocals remind me of Chuck Billy on some of the angrier Testament songs. Couple this with some superb guitar work, good solid bass and great drumming and you've got a great result. The songwriting is also critical - even the best band can't make a crap song sound amazing - they need good songs to play, and thankfully Beholder have written some great songs here. Lyrically the subjects match the angry feel to the music and vocals and cover a range of topics - intelligent subjects such as the behaviour of the Press, and politicans.

Brief comments on a few tracks..

"Profit of the lie" is the first song to be revealed from the album and was made available as a free download. It's an attack on the press and their behaviour, and is a very topical subject given the Leveson enquiry and ongoing discussions on press regulation. The angry lyrics will resonate with a lot of people unhappy with how newspapers have behaved. One of my favourite tracks on the album.

"Morphine serenity" has quite a different style of vocals - it's straight clean singing with less of the angry shouting/snarling, and shows some welcome diversity. It's still a good heavy song - the guitars, bass and drums give the song plenty of power.

"Toxic nation" opens with a nice slow guitar intro which lasts for around a minute before the song kicks up in to high gear. The song has some seriously fast, breakneck speed drumming - I can imagine Chris Bentley collapsing in exhaustion at the end of the song if it was played later on in the set at their live shows.

"Out of ashes" opens with a news reporter talking about the Arab spring - the uprisings that brought turmoil and major change to many arab countries last year. It's an instrumental track with a mix of acoustic guitar and electric guitar - no drums or bass, just the guitars and a couple of news reports playing. It's a slow gentle track and it's really excellent - a beautiful track that has beautiful peaceful guitar work contrasting with the news reports of violence and makes you pause and think.

So, how good is the album? Well, it's good enough that I've already ordered one of the limited edition fan packs, and as far as I'm concerned, that's the ultimate test of an album - will a reviewer who has a promo of the album then go out and spend their cash on buying a copy. With this album I've done just that, and I recommend that you give the band a listen and if you like what you hear, BUY a copy and support the band.

Limited Fan pack editions of the album which include extra goodies and get sent out a week or so before the album goes on general release are on sale now from
The album will get it's full release on 1st February.

Track listing:

1. Black flag
2. Profit of the lie
3. Here I stand
4. Splinter
5. The tale of Eleanor Grey
6. Killing machine
7. Morphine serenity
8. Liar
9. Toxic Nation
10. Out of the ashes
11. Footprints
12. This blackened earth

Beholder are:

Simon Hall- Vocals
Scott Taylor - Guitar and Vocals
Martyn Blackwell - Guitar and Vocals
Si Fielding - Bass and Vocals
Chris Bentley - Drums

Writer: Anthony May
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