Written by: LF on 02/06/2014 07:54:15

Alaya from Chicago, IL are not exactly newcomers to the technical metal scene as they have spent the last two years perfecting their debut album "Thrones". It was released about two months ago, and Alaya are already having some solid success with it. They have for instance recently been on tour with TesseracT, Intronaut and Cloudkicker and are now included in the line-up of the British Tech-Fest that takes place this summer.

As a debut album, "Thrones" features a highly impressive blend of extremely melodic yet technically heavy progressive metal with its fair share of chugging riffs. The band consists of just three guys: Evan Graham Dunn on vocals and guitars, David Jacob Robison on drums, and Michael Brandt Rinkenberger on bass. At first sounding recklessly heavy with its blazing intro riff, the album opener "Inside" quickly develops into some very interesting melodic territory with the immense instrumentals laying the ground for the voice of Dunn to sweep over with his mostly long and strong notes. The mix of these two sides, the uncompromising and heavy with the soaring and melodic is what impresses the most on this album, as the two are extremely well integrated. Mostly, that is. Even though the strong melodies blend with just the right amount of impressive instrumental work on many of the tracks, it does feel like the technical madness runs amok with itself from time to time, most explicitly on "Grace".

The very strongest songs are also the ones with the best-working hooks, namely the amazing "Poor Gloria", "Sleep" and not least "Entropy". The latter fits its name extremely well as its eclectic guitar melodies point in all sorts of different directions, making for a pretty chaotic piece of sound that is somehow just barely held together by the contrasting melodies in the vocals and the barrage of drums that lies beneath it. I generally like the approach of this band to both song-writing and genre-mixing but while parts of this album might grow even more on me, I still feel like Alaya lack a little in terms of structuring an album that can impress as a unit and not just with individual songs.

Download: Sleep, Poor Gloria, Entropy, Inside, Screaming Still
For The Fans Of: Periphery, Protest the Hero, Muse

Release Date 17.03.2014
Basick Records

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