Fragile Equality

Written by: MR on 04/11/2008 13:35:44

I'm a sucker for pure musical talent. I find myself much in love with the tight, well-executed riff, when music is coming from the heart. Meet Almah. Remember when guys like you and me spent time chasing girls, drinking beer, or having our fights with parents who wanted us to cut our hair? Well I will bet my on my said hair that Almah as youngsters spent a lot of time in their room or in rehearsals (like a lot of kids in their genre) playing their instruments or listening to the music that influences their sound. They play a catchy, fast and solid brand of power metal, and they really know what the fuck they are doing. The lead vocalist Edu has a talented lineup behind him, which also contains the Berkley graduate Marcelo Barbosa. You are in safe hands with this band.

"Fragile Equality" is impressive. The hard and dark "Beyond Tomorrow", with its doomsday howling choir throughout the song, makes you envision what the soundtrack for the end of the world would be. This song and the excellent "Torn", with its dramatic and high voltage intensive guitar riffs at the beginning of the song, might very well be a clue, or clues to how to push power metal and its 80's references up to date. Maybe Almah will be one of the bands cracking the code of how to sound like a power metal band in 2008 and years to come, because as great as they play and sound, that's a big battle the band needs to take. The massive use of keyboards, strings and open choruses with the lead singer unleashing a high and prolonged tone (as we know it from several Bon Jovi songs) makes for a decent starting point, but just listen to the outdated and very annoying strings at the start of "You'll understand". What could have easily been a crazy song is somehow ruined by those massive strings, moving the attention away from the excellent work of the other instruments.

As the album evolves we get to see a more mellow side to the band. At times, like in "Invincible Cage" with its contagious sing-along chorus, it is a great addition. And then during other times, like in "All I Am" its just... boring.

When Almah get a grip on what they do, then they can easily give their fellow technical power metal brothers from Protest The Hero a fight for their money, but in the more unfocused songs, like the aforementioned, the band loses a grip of the listener and their musical talent goes to waste in a dangerous cocktail containing all the "DO NOTs" of the 80's. In summary, Almah balance themselves on a very thin line. This line is somehow attached to something at 30 000 feet. Throughout the album they stumble and fall – and as you might imagine, this is a long and deep fall - but when they manage to avoid stumbling, they aren't that far from heaven.

Download: Torn, Beyond Tommorow
For the fans of: Protest The Hero, Angra
Listen: Myspace

Release date 24.09.2008
AFM Records

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