I’ve talked a great deal about song writing in recent reviews, and rightfully so, because being good at writing music isn’t easy. The easiest way to write a song is to come up with a catchy riff on the guitar and then write a few chords around it, then hopefully come up with a good melody to go on top of it. The real good songwriters can hear the song from the beginning; all of the chord changes, the pace, the melody, and then they write it down (if they know how to write music) and being able to do this well isn’t easy. I usually associate this with individuals, like the singer songwriter, and not commonly with metal bands, but I feel with a band like Beak, their song writing is the main thing going for them.
Mostly thanks to their usage of harsh vocals, and if you’ve read my reviews on the matter you’d know how I feel such a vocal method has long since gotten old, the song writing behind Beak’s new album Let Time Begin is something to take notice to. In fact, I’m not sure I’d call it heavy metal, or not simply heavy metal. Using opening track Souls In Streams for example, the band uses a slow pace that mixes alternative metal with doom metal and even shows some progressive capabilities, but almost completely modernizes it with the usage of the harsh vocals (probably the only positive thing I really have to say about the vocals).
While the opening track introduces the bands somewhat unique sound, songs like Light Outside, The Breath Of The Universe and title track Let Time Begin introduce the good song writing that I’ve been getting to. The opening minute to Light Outside is a great musical piece that turns right back in to the doomed sound that is the bands heavy music, but this time around, the music has a little more to it than simply being slow and sludgy. The Breath Of The Universe has experimentations in its sound that differentiate it from the rest of the album, and the guitar playing on the song really stands out. Not to mention it has a slightly faster and more intense pace than the rest of the album. Let Time Begin has some of the more memorable musical parts to the album, thanks to its guitar riff.
The album then breaks in to two longer length songs, both of which not only show the writing capability of the band, but equally important they show the comfort the band has playing with each other. The way Into The Light goes from heavy and hard to soft and dark then almost unnoticeably goes back into a thrashing harsh onslaught of instruments and vocals, with some good guitar riffs filling out the breaks in vocals really does impress me. Then there is the long music break, where the band actually takes their alternative doom sound and turns it into a sound that makes you feel like you’re actually flying into the light is pretty impressive too. It took me a few listens to really realize that. Carry A Fire is similar in that it goes from soft and dark to heavy and hard and sometimes the transitions aren’t even noticeable. It does however have its similarities to the previously mentioned track, except rather than at times feeling like you’re flying into a light, this time you just feel like you’re burning in hell, just like most of the rest of the album makes you feel.
Let Time Begin ends with another long song, Fiery They Rose, but not before the two minute instrumental Over The Shelter, The Morning Breaks which is more of a soundtrack to the conceptual sound the album has taken than it is an actual song. I enjoy it nonetheless. Fiery The Rose manages to sound different from the rest of the album, and actually ends up being a pretty solid choice to close the album with. I realize the more I listen to the album that the songs do a good job at representing their titles, and in this case the song sounds like I’m in the middle of a war, either a historic, modern or futuristic war, frankly the sound could fit wither. The feel of the song just feels like a different and refreshed band is playing. Even the harsh singing sounds all too fitting this time around.
While I enjoy the song writing on Let Time Begin as much as I’ve been saying throughout the review, I still feel at times the songs can get to sounding the same. It’s an acquired taste, one that I believe I have, to really enjoy and appreciate the album. I would love to hear the songs with at least some clean vocals, as there are absolutely none heard anywhere on the album, because I did find the usage of harsh vocals to be quite useful at moments on the album, but at other times it just assisted in making the songs sound the same. Nevertheless, I can’t really think of any bands out there that sound like Beak, which is something very important to have going for a band.
“Let Time Begin” – I revealed on my last review that after my first couple of listens to an album from start to finish, I start to listen to the album on shuffle, just to see how well I can differentiate the songs on the album. For an album such as Let Time Begin and how similar the songs can kind of get to sound, I had to rely on the song that kept grabbing my attention the most when listening to the album on shuffle, which was the title track and its difference in intensity compared to the rest of the album as well as its above average memorable guitar parts. Unfortunately there is no embed to provide, so you’ll just have to trust me!
7 (Out of 10)
|1||Souls in Streams||Beak||3:55|
|3||The Breath of Universe||Beak||4:48|
|4||Let Time Begin||Beak||4:58|
|5||Into the Light||Beak||7:03|
|6||Carry a Fire||Beak||6:11|
|7||Over the Shelter, the Morning Breaks||Beak||2:05|
|8||Fiery They Rose||Beak||6:23|