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Beak: Let Time Begin

The album title, Let Time Begin, comes from William Peter Blatty's book Legion, a sequel to the infamous Exorcist. I haven't read the book, though I want to, so I can't comment on the significance of the phrase. Still, I know that there's a cool kind of power and influence in the way that we draw on other texts, other sources, to say what we want to say. It's more than borrowing, it's expanding. There are other sources for the lyrics on this release: Paradise Lost, Leviathan,A Brief History of Time, and "America: a Prophecy," a poem by William Blake if memory serves. The lyrics on this album take all this material, spread it around, and use it to inform the themes and moods of this album. Interested listeners can also go to lettimebegin.com and stream the album with images, lyrics, and so on. It's a really cool idea and it actually gives another interesting layer to the album. I also streamed only part of the album this way. I generally prefer to listen to music with headphones and not have visuals distracting me. Still, this is a cool idea and I recommend it for those who find the music here worth exploring in more depth.

With all these cool texts, themes, and images to deal with, the music risks getting overlooked. That would be unfortunate; Beak is a good band, one that obviously puts a great deal of thought and passion into everything. The music on this album is basically post-metal, but it's heavier than many of the other bands I've heard that do stuff like this. The band members themselves point to Isis, Killing Joke, and Enslaved as major inspirations and provocations. I found the music to be heavy, expansive, and interesting. Like other bands in this genre, the music often alternates between mellow and heavy passages but it does so without resorting to artificial changes or sham emotion. The music here is often very heavy and very dark, the sounds being part of the larger theme of exploring why things are the way they are and the role of human beings in the whole mess. As I listened, I often felt anxious, as though the experience of the album parallels the frustrating aspects of understanding human beings and their place in the universe. In this sense, the music has a Lovecraftian quality without ever summoning Cthulhu or Yog-Sothoth. As for the vocals, they are mostly shrieked and screamed. I thought they sounded good—they were almost hardcore in their delivery, never overly emotive or false.

Check out the title track and "Into the Light" for good introductions to this band. I especially liked "Into the Light"—it had a cool outro.

Ultimately, this is an album worth discovering. Fans of post-metal should enjoy it, but I also think it appeals to those who prefer nothing but extreme metal.

Track Listing:
1. Souls in Streams
2. Light Outside
3. The Breath of Universe
4. Let Time Begin
5. Into the Light
6. Carry a Fire
7. Over the Shelter, the Morning Breaks
8. Fiery They Rose

Added: November 21st 2014
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Score:
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1433
Language: english

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