Transitions by BesraRelease date: September 29, 2023
Label: Suicide Records
With so much music being released it can be difficult to allow albums the real time they deserve and perhaps that is why I never got to click with the first Besra album. The chance to review second album Transitions offered me that deeper dive and the six tracks here cross the realms of ferocious post-metal such as Cult of Luna yet wallow in the melodic side of recent Ocean albums. Having created a rich history with previous post-metal band Callisto, Johannes Nygård and band mates have crafted a structured album which has a gripping flow and hits glorious post-metal heights with a good serving of originality.
Straight off the bat ‘Sentinels’ goes hard but like all the songs on the album it finishes on a different path than it started and demonstrates the well planned and executed songwriting. The opener moves from the aforementioned Cult of Luna heavy sound before transitioning to some rousing melodic vocals in a style that is familiar to some of the more recent Ocean albums. The dual vocal styles are used throughout and aid the transitions of guttural post-metal and the more soaring moments.
Vocalist Hannes Hietarinta mentioned that the band initially “struggled with the diversity of the songs, but unified long recording sessions and carefully considered song order ultimately created a cohesive yet versatile album”, and I have to agree with his conclusion. It is clearly evident that the band spent a good amount of time getting the parts in order to record the album. ‘Sanguine’ and ‘Prison Without Locks’ turn to the softer side of the band with a mix of spoken word and clean vocals in amongst the sparser instrumentation whilst the final three tracks fully push on all the boundaries of the post-metal genre.
With the second half of the album the band also layers textures, goes heavy and also emits melodic notes. ‘Landscapes’ is a beautifully constructed song which pulls together most of the aspects spread through the album. Transitions is an expansive and cohesive piece of work which flows brilliantly from the crushing end of post-metal to the more delicate end of the spectrum. With the right attention this album will really engage enjoyers of recent Ocean work along with fans of Novarupta and Cult of Luna.