Saturday, November 30, 2013

Almah - Unfold (2013)

Starting as a side project, Brazilian power metal band Almah was created by the Angra front man Edu Falaschi in 2001, but thanks to the growing success with the band, Almah became a permanent band that Edu now focuses on 100% since he left Angra last year. For every album that Almah have released, they have taken one step further with the heavy sound, and it was very successful in their latest installment "Motion" in 2011. "Unfold" is the fourth album by the band, and I expected that they would take everything that made "Motion" so good and develop it further. Sadly, they did not.

I will admit that "Unfold" have some similarities with its predecessor. There are several parts where there is a perfect mix of heavy metal and power metal, but it feels like Almah does not go with this sound to 100% like they did in "Motion". Instead, they put in some more smooth and easy notes in the music, which gives some more variation, but also loses some strength.Why would they do that when they had a perfectly good and original sound at their disposal? Instead, they experiment with typical power metal ballads ("Warm Wind"), stupid rock groove ("You Gotta Stand") and some U2 shit ("Wings of Revolution"). Not okay man, not okay.

But there is still some elements in "Unfold" that definitely works. Like the frenetic drum work in "In My Sleep", the chorus in "The Hostage" (but not that god awful Black Label Society verse), the beautiful "Raise The Sun" and the powerful "Believer" (the only power metal song in this album that actually works). But they only make up for some of the faults with this album. They cannot help that the production is not perfect nor the weird experimental tracks that drags the album down. It is a shame since the members are all great and professional musicians that makes a great effort to make "Unfold" as good as it can be.

The final nail in the coffin for "Unfold" spells "Treasure of The Gods". A nine minute long epic that picks out every power metal cliche in the book. A slow start, epic chorus and some technical instrumental work along the way. Even if it is one of the better tracks in "Unfold", I still want to just vomit bile all over the place. What happened to the originality? What happened with the excitement?

This was a big disappointment, maybe one of the bigger ones in 2013. I expected "Unfold" to be a continuation of "Motion" and securing Almah's place as one of the more interesting power/heavy metal bands in the world, but instead, they experimented so much that they lost themselves on the way. "Unfold" shows some glimpses of greatness, but it is overall an unpleasant record. So please Almah, skip the whole "let's be a typical power metal band" act and keep the heavy hard rock sound instead. It fits you much better and it feels more original.

Songs worthy of recognition: In My Sleep, Raise The Sun, Believer

Rating: 4,5/10 Cannibals In Suits

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