Sunday, May 05, 2013

Beholder-The Order Of Chaos

Razorline Records
"Beholder" seems to be another (somewhat) popular choice as far as band names go so, just so we're all on the same page, let's make sure not to confuse this UK 5-piece with any of the other similarly named ones. While I couldn't pick up any information about online about when/how this group came about the Metal Archives makes not that the group hails from Coventry, West Midlands, England. "The Order Of Chaos" is Beholder's second full-length release and follows in the footsteps of the band's 2009 LP "The Awakening". When I sent off some of my hard earned cash for this new album (babysitting money yeah!) I also ordered  "The Awakening". It's been more then a few weeks since I got both of their albums so I've had a chance to listen to the two and, as far as objective listening goes, they both had about the same effect on me although "The Order Of Chaos" is smoother sounding. The production seemed better and the band all around sounder a bit more confident. First though, before we dive head first into Beholder's sound, I'll admit that the first thing that caught my eye about Beholder was some of the members featured in the band. I wish I could remember where I first read about them, but my memory seems to going out on me more and more like my trick left knee. Anyway, what caught my eye about Beholder was the fact that Si Fielding (bass guitar & vocals) was in Adrenalin Kick and The Handsome Beasts while Simon Hall (lead vocals) was also in The Handsome Beast. When I saw that little bit of information online, as well as the supposedly  "fact" that Beholder continued the spirit of the NWOBHM movement, I knew I had to check the band out. This reported "British metal" act is rounded out by drummer Chris Bentley and guitarists Martyn Blackwell and Scott Taylor (both of whom also provide backing vocals) and, it should be duly noted, all five musicians bring it and then some. Is this NWOBHM-influenced/British metal though? Not really. I'd hate for someone else to order this CD blind and not know what they are getting into. While it might not be some Iron Maiden/Samson/Judas Priest like heavy metal it's got a swagger all it's own. My first thought was this power metal/thrash version of Pantera only with a killer twin guitar attack. As I listened to "The Order Of Chaos" I picked up on some solid power metal (everything from Nevermore to a bulkier Metal Church) and the groove of bands like Pantera and Exhorder. What Beholder does best is pump out thick slabs of groovy power metal/thrash with plenty of crunch. There's also a truck load of intensity and passion running through these tracks and that's one of those things that becomes really contagious. Overall I could have been disappointed that Beholder were more Pantera then say Praying Mantis, but they won me over pretty easily with some well-arranged numbers and their enthusiasm. 

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