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Belial - "Belial" (CD/EP)

Belial - "Belial" CD/EP cover image

"Belial" track listing:

1. Heroin Holidays
2. Wraiths
3. Host
4. Wen
5. Parasite

Reviewed by on December 16, 2014

"All in all, Belial has put out a fascinating debut here."

Some bands are easy to label and others will cause arguments over their genre for their entire career. Whether Belial is deathcore, death metal, or progressive metal remains to be truly answered but if the self-titled debut EP is anything to go by, one thing listeners can label the band as is “damn good.”

The EP opens with "Heroin Holidays," a blistering track which displays some of the lowest vocals heard in recent times. The song shows off the influence of bands such as Whitechapel and The Acacia Strain very clearly, but it's far from a carbon copy of these earlier deathcore outfits. It's a pounding track, with each segment hitting the listener as hard as a Klitschko punch, concluding as one might expect, with an angry, rage filled breakdown.

From there, it leads into "Wraiths," which contains perhaps some of the most memorable guitar work on display. Though the riffs are highly infectious, meticulous and designed to disturb your housemate, the track is pure chaos from start to finish and brings a sound reminiscent of New York death metal legends, Suffocation to proceedings.

There are plenty of other intriguing moments on this short output, perhaps none more so than, "Wen," a quick instrumental which departs from the usual extreme sounds a little to show off something of an industrial edge. Not only that, but it has an eerie, chilling frost biting into the tone of the song, conjuring images of abandoned factories. Perhaps a soundtrack for things to come in the their hometown of Swindon given the economic troubles surrounding them.

All in all, Belial has put out a fascinating debut here. It will definitely please the tattooed, ear stretched deathcore crowd, without turning off too many purists and having enough brains behind it to appeal to those who like their metal to contain plenty of thought and technicality. It's a must listen for anyone seeking a new band which fearlessly treads the extreme areas of music.

Highs: "Heroin Holidays" and "Wen."

Lows: A lack of much in the way of stand out moments and a slight too much familiarity.

Bottom line: A very good debut from a band which promises only huge things.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)