Besra – "Transitions"
"Change is often painful"
After their debut album "Anhedonia" in 2018, post-metallers Besra released several EPs and singles. With "Transitions", they're finally about to deliver their second album, and (spoiler alert) It was worth the wait!
"Sentinels" is the first song on the upcoming Besra LP. The emotional shouting immediately draws me in, and I feel the urge to listen to all six tracks without a break. Peaceful and all by myself—with the speakers turned up. I'm sure the song is also a great live piece, by the way! So if you get the chance to listen to it in a venue near you— don't miss it!
And I'm already in the middle of it. Or rather, You're in the middle of it. Welcome to my review of the new Besra album "Transitions", which they plan to release on September 29th. The title appears to fit unbelievably well with the excellent work of the band from Turku, Finland. Its contrasts and changes bring it to life. And it is also about changes, especially how painful they can be. Drummer Ville Kaisla describes it like this:
"'Transitions' revolves around confronting the complexities of human behaviour and the tumultuous landscapes we create—both in our social behaviour and to the world around us. Only change is constant. And it is often painful—whether it's about the world situation, human relationships, your daily state of mind, or even our band's musical development."
The profound words at the beginning of the second song, "Sanguine", carry on with this story:
"Was it me you had a dream about? Was it you that I was meant to say hello to? Was it me that you were looking for? Was it you that got away? I'll never know."
Dreams become a reality—to disappear again in the thick mist of musing. The spoken lyrics by lead vocalist Hannes Hietarinta (classic post-rock style) gradually turn into singing. Towards the middle, the piece expands into an actual work of sound art. It's an excellent intro for the third song on the record.
"Transitions" by Besra picks up speed
With "Prison Without Locks", the record finally picks up speed. Quiet and thoughtful notes quickly break into exciting realms with a rhythmic change. Hannes' words become deep again:
"My heart is like an open book. You can read it if you want. Many tells are left untold even though the story ended."
Even if the lyrics here suggest harshness, the piece lives from its playfulness and fragility. Hannes' singing builds the perfect contrast, gently supported by keyboardist Mika Mäkilaakso in the background. In the last third of the track, we do get a proper shouting—paired with the sound of all three guitars; it offers us a multi-layered and progressive overall picture of the prison without locks.
"Landscapes" is the name of the initially gossamer, then post-metallic and gloomy answer to the filigree third piece on the record. Like its predecessors, it surprises with stylish interludes and changes between Besra's music's angry and vulnerable sides.
Besra – "Transitions"
The brave people who survive changes often arrive on the other side with a different outlook. And that's precisely what the song "Valor" sounds like. The rapids and stones of upheaval grow into the rock in the surf that brings new perspectives. Melodically, the piece is a pleasant highlight before the big finale, "Cries and Lamentations".
The sixth and last track on "Transitions" is a post-music dream come true that I would love to hear in a steamy venue soon. You know, without the complete light show set and any unnecessary gear— just the musicians highly concentrated and absorbed in their masterpiece. Can you imagine the enchanted audience—happily swaying in the feeling of being understood? Understood by this music that carries all the emotions that the changes in our lives bring us. By the way, the middle part of this song is particularly successful, with the keys making a magical appearance, skillfully leading into the beautiful finish of the album.
Emotions, shouting, changes of tempo and mood and skilful playing as well as singing: The new Besra album has it all. If you can't wait for the release after reading my review—here is a sound sample for you:
Besra - "Prison without Locks"
- Hannes Hietarinta – Lead vocals, keyboards
- Ville Kaisla – Drums
- Ville Kujansuu – Guitars
- Mika Mäkilaakso – Guitars, keyboards, vocals
- Johannes Nygård – Guitars
- Pekko Seppälä – Bass
Picture: Aleks Talve