Almah is the first solo release from Angra front man Edu Falaschi and with this release he has put together a band that reads like a who’s who of power metal, with Emppu Vuorinen of Nightwish on guitars, Lauri Porra of Statovarius on bass guitar and completing this very impressive line-up is Kamelot’s Casey Grillo on drums. In addition to that the album also includes guest appearances by Mike Stone of Queensryche, Edu Ardanuy of Dr Sin, as well as the National Brazilian Gospel Choir!. Now if that doesn’t spell out a class act then nothing will.
The album is based around a concept of a Universe called Almah, which consists of lots of different planets that are made up of our feelings, with the inhabitants growing in his own world. Whether that be the world of hate or the world of greed etc, Edu takes these different worlds and takes examples of our history and puts it in the context of these worlds. An example is given with Betrayal as Edu uses the story of Tutankhamen, a Pharaoh who died at the age of 18 a victim of betrayal by his own priest’s. So now you get the gist of where Edu is coming from with this whole concept.
So now to the album itself which opens up in magnificent style with the power driven ‘King’, a real barnstormer of an opener full of stirring guitar riffs courtesy of Vuorinen and the powerhouse section Grillo and Porra.
The album continues its intensity through to the next track ‘Take Back Your Spell’, another spellbinding piece of power driven metal as Falaschi’s towering vocals rise above the stampeding bass and kick drum assault.
The album isn’t all about pace and rampaging guitars there also a few tender moments on the album, one of them being the next track ‘Forgotten Land’ with the highlight of the track being the splendid vocals of Falaschi as he gives this track a soulful feel. However, this is still a metal track by any other name as the riffs of Vuorinen still retail that majestic power metal feel to the track.
Another track in a similar vein is the next one the excellent ‘Scary Zone’, but this time Edu brings more keyboards into the mix as they intertwine with the guitars. The album goes into full power metal mode with one of my favourite tracks off the album the tremendous ’Children Lies’. This is Edu at his powerful best and backed the superb musicianship of the rest of the band, this one just oozes class from start to finish.
Things get a little heavier now with ’Break All The Welds’, but the track doesn’t lose of the melodic energy that has been a constant factor throughout the album and at only just over two minutes long, is the shortest track on the album.
Another exceptional track is the haunting ’Golden Empire’, a real touch of class. This track once again shows why Edu is one of the best power metal vocalists today as he brings power and grace to the track with those immaculate tones of his. The same grace is found again in abundance on the next track ‘Primitive Chaos’.
The next few tracks off the album continue through a gentle phase of the album with Edu’s song writing abilities on show, with these few gentler moments from the almost ballad like tones of ‘Breathe’ and the splendid melodic tones of ‘Box Of Illusion’.
album closes with the title track ‘Almah’,
a word that has many meanings in many different languages,
but Edu has used the Portuguese
meaning the word which means ‘Soul’,
which fits this song so well as Edu reaches new heights with the superb
harmonies on this one and is at his most soulful on this track.
A song that rounds
a quite astounding debut from the Angra front man.
Although it’s a
million miles away from the last Angra album,
this shows there's
more to the man than just a great voice.
He can write great
songs, arrange them well and really shines
as a producer and lyricist.
All content copyright of The Mayfair Mall Zine unless otherwise stated.