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Bellator : Iridescense

Bellator's third demo starts with one of the most doomy samples from a movie ever (The Prophecy). As a narrative voice is talking about the second war in heaven, the sample fades seemingly perfectly into the first track. This happens so fluently that at first I thought the band had composed the entire song around the story-line of The Prophecy (although the lyrics would be a bit odd then). However, when I talked to Kostas of the band I learned to my surprise that he, nor anybody else in the band, had any clue to where the sample even came from! Apparently the sound engineer had put the sample in on his own accord. The band liked how it sounded and kept it in.

On 'Iridescence' we hear Bellator moving into a more melodic and atmospheric direction. Especially if you compare this demo to their first Mcd. They for sure have come a long way. From mid tempo Death-metal with Doomy bits to Atmospheric Doom-metal, heavy on the keyboards. Fortunately, the album has a lot of metal elements and there needs to be no cause for alarm, this is metal and this is heavy (in it's own special way). The atmospheric element gives it a bit of a fairytale feeling and the entire demo is very easy listening, if you ask me. I sometimes feel the un-natural urge to sing "la la la laaa" along with more melodic parts. Only to find myself head banging again to the aggressive sections and grunts.

The vocals are actually another story. About the grunts I can be quick, they sound full, thick and are highly enjoyable. The clean vocals however take some getting used to. They are more of an acquired taste to be honest. The Dutch/Belgian accent is quite heavy most of the time, off key or in some other way off. I think it is safe to say their vocalist can't really sing. But have you ever had that feeling that you just totally dig something, just because it has such a unique and odd feel to it? Because these clean vocals just have comfortable feel about them, you want to listen to them over and over again. The man can't sing, but it somehow just sounds so nice!

Are Bellator the next big doomy sensation to storm the doom-charts of despair? No, I don't think so. The band has a lot of potential and some of their material is downright catchy. Just check out the "funky" keyboard bits on 'Myriad Gateways' and 'Ghost Ride' (almost Ayreon alike!). But they still lack that extra special cutting edge. They at times still lean too much on the sound of other light death/doom acts. On the other hand, this demo is better than some official releases by other underground Doom acts. 'Iridescence' is most definitely worth checking out and if you're a death/doom fan I will not be surprised if it found it's way into your CD player at regular intervals. But I have the feeling that Bellator's true moment has yet to come.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. The Journey's Onset
2. Deadlocked
3. Myriad Gateways
4. The Pular Voyage
5. Ghost Ride
6. Prelude to Austerity
7. Vaults of the infinite
8. In Spectra

Duration : Approx. 57 minutes

Visit the Bellator bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Aldo Quispel
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