Rating:
7.8
Almah - Unfold
25 November 2013


01. In My Sleep
02. Beware The Stroke
03. The Hostage
04. Warm Wind
05. Raise Of The Sun
06. Cannibals In Suits
07. Wings Of Revolution
08. Believer
09. I Do
10. You Gotta Stand
11. Treasure Of The Gods
12. Farewell


The new Almah record finds Edu Falaschi doing exactly what he set out to do with the band following his departure from Angra. Find his voice again.

Falaschi had previously felt out of his element as Angra's vocalist and despite persevering with the band he had been uncomfortable in his role for some time. Having since made the decision to depart Angra, leaving his legacy on some of the band's finest material, the former front man sought to concentrate his vocal efforts entirely on Almah. This was and remains a metal environment more accommodating to him in his preference for a mid-range delivery. It has always been an environment of his own design, considering it was through his own initiative that the band formed, and as such it is with undivided attention that his sights are set on supplying full voice to their fourth album entitled Unfold.

And unfold it does; the album readily opens up to reveal the band playing to their strengths in this new and consistently explosive effort with its very punchy heavy metal rhythms amidst power metal hooks. There are little keyboards here and only subtle additional layering is used; primarily it's all down to the belting combo of guitars, bass and drums. The previous album Motion pushed power metal to its heaviest, yet failed to leave much of a mark. On Unfold, however, we find a clearer sense of direction which is put to determined use. Packed with reinvigorated energy this is one of their most driving set of tracks which hits hard with a consistent tempo.

To its detriment the primary aim at a heavy delivery brings with it a rather straightforward and sometimes tedious rhythm; as focused as it is, much of the album has a constant and usually unaltered beat, despite all the Angra-like percussive flourishes. Some tracks tend to drag as a result, especially as things can begin to sound bare in the absence of keyboards, with the addition of piano in "Raise The Sun" and "Wings Of Revolution" adding a soft and welcome touch to this prevailingly edgy record.

However, now that we have this focus from Falaschi and the band, they are well on the way to honing their sound with the aid of an outstanding performance in the rhythm section; the new guitarist Gustavo Di Padua and bassist Raphael Dafras inviting a technical precision and progressive power flair to the proceedings. Check out the nine and a half minute "Treasure Of The Gods", which showcases the creativity of their work at its most varied. The guitar lines receive some symphonic embellishment in quite a few tracks, such as "Believer" and "I Do" as well in the uplifting and catchy "You Gotta Stand" with its bass accentuated beats and electronic adages. Falaschi and the guys are clearly keen to try new things out with Unfold, the main man himself testing his mid-range by experimenting with a varied approach, as you can hear in the likes of the bold brawn of "The Hostage."

Falaschi's vocal presence manages to gel well overall with the instrumentation, providing many catchy choruses and he is still confident enough to reach briefly for his higher echelons in tracks like "Believer." Clearly Falaschi has found his purpose again in this environment perfectly suited for his new stylistic concentration. At his best he fills the ballad "Warm Wind" with emotion and passion of old.

Unfold sees these Brazilians finding a stronger sense of direction with this consistent return to form.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 8


Band profile: Almah
Album: Unfold


 



Written on 25.11.2013 by
R'Vannith
R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.
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Teravolt_Danny - 25.11.2013 at 22:40  
Sweet Jesus, the vocals KILL this for me. The music itself is great, the melodies are great... but I'm sorry, that guys voice just ruins everything. What a shame.
R'Vannith - 26.11.2013 at 05:16  
Written by Teravolt_Danny on 25.11.2013 at 22:40

Sweet Jesus, the vocals KILL this for me. The music itself is great, the melodies are great... but I'm sorry, that guys voice just ruins everything. What a shame.


Overall I can't say I agree, his style suits the music well I find. Though if I were to pinpoint a moment where he sounds particularly inconsistent, I'd say the chorus of "Beware The Stroke," he seemed a little strained there.
Empyror - 27.11.2013 at 01:06  
I was hoping for this album to sound more like Fragile Equality and less like Motion, and after listening to the first song, it seemed as though my wish had been granted. Then the rest of the album happened. The pace of this album drops to mostly mid-tempo stuff after the first track ala Motion. Don't get me wrong, I liked Motion and I like this album a little bit better, but Fragile Equality appears to be an anomaly withing the bands discography rather than the norm in that it is the only predominately up-tempo, more "traditional" power metal sounding album. I really like Warm Wind, Raise of the Sun, and Wings of Revolution off this album and the rest of the songs are pretty good too. Warm Wind reminds me of the type of ballads Edu sang in Angra like Wishing Well. I guess this is the type of stuff he wants to do now so, whatever floats his boat.
R'Vannith - 27.11.2013 at 04:26  
Written by Empyror on 27.11.2013 at 01:06

I was hoping for this album to sound more like Fragile Equality and less like Motion, and after listening to the first song, it seemed as though my wish had been granted. Then the rest of the album happened. The pace of this album drops to mostly mid-tempo stuff after the first track ala Motion. Don't get me wrong, I liked Motion and I like this album a little bit better, but Fragile Equality appears to be an anomaly withing the bands discography rather than the norm in that it is the only predominately up-tempo, more "traditional" power metal sounding album. I really like Warm Wind, Raise of the Sun, and Wings of Revolution off this album and the rest of the songs are pretty good too. Warm Wind reminds me of the type of ballads Edu sang in Angra like Wishing Well. I guess this is the type of stuff he wants to do now so, whatever floats his boat.


I feel much the same about Fragile Equality, it set a really high standard for the band to follow in terms of their song writing, which to me is on as high a level as his work with Angra. More-so even, it really is one of the catchiest Power metal albums I've heard. And I very much agree that it's the anomaly in their discog with its more traditional approach, I'd say that there is less of an emphasis on the heavy aspect, and closer attention to hooks and the like.
They're going for the heavier sound now and it works well for Falaschi, so as much as I like Fragile Equality, it was a "one-off" kind of deal I think.
Empyror - 28.11.2013 at 17:34  
Written by R'Vannith on 27.11.2013 at 04:26

Written by Empyror on 27.11.2013 at 01:06




I feel much the same about Fragile Equality, it set a really high standard for the band to follow in terms of their song writing, which to me is on as high a level as his work with Angra. More-so even, it really is one of the catchiest Power metal albums I've heard. And I very much agree that it's the anomaly in their discog with its more traditional approach, I'd say that there is less of an emphasis on the heavy aspect, and closer attention to hooks and the like.
They're going for the heavier sound now and it works well for Falaschi, so as much as I like Fragile Equality, it was a "one-off" kind of deal I think.


I wonder how much of an impact Angra sort of being on hiatus at the time of Fragile Equality had on the album. This is a a pretty spot on review though and I agree with most of what was said and the score. It's an above average solid album with a few really good songs on it.
DeathSlyzer - 01.12.2013 at 18:39  
I feel the exact same way as you guys. I really loved Fragile Equality, and was also hoping for this to be more like that album, but with that said, this isn't bad either. Falaschi sounds confortable with this sound, and his vocal delivery is as spot on as I could have hoped. And as long as that's the case, I won't complain.

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