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Alpha Galates - A Stimulus for Reason CD (album) cover

A STIMULUS FOR REASON

Alpha Galates

 

Progressive Metal

4.04 | 4 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'A Stimulus For Reason' Alpha Galates (8/10)

The first record under the new name of a band formerly known as the Hollow, Alpha Galates' honorary debut makes a strong impression. While the band's existing experience under their previous title is very evident, there's a rather fresh sound to this Canadian outfit. Despite a bit less consistent release than might be ideal, 'A Stimulus For Reason' is an excellent piece of dark progressive rock.

Mixed by Joe Barresi of Tool fame, this band does bear a very noticeable similarity with that band. While the sound throughout 'A Stimulus For Reason' is best described as eclectic, a fair deal of the music here is driven by sludgy, dense riffs, psychedelic ambiance and some dynamic vocal work that wouldn't sound out place in a heavy alternative act. While right to be labelled as progressive metal, there is a great deal of variety here, emulating styles from all over the metal and hard rock map. While Alpha Galates is an overtly progressive group, most of the songs here are structured pieces of songwriting, each with their own sets of melodic hooks. While the song structures here are not outrageous by any extent, Alpha Galates packs a great deal of sound and texture into each song. This makes things far too eventful to pick up everything after only one listen, making it a surprisingly challenging piece of work considering all of the melodic emphasis that's put into the music.

Of interest in specific to the prog fan are two 'epics,' songs that really defy the expectations of a song and go above the call of duty. The two mini-suites here are 'Love Despair' and the album's finale, 'Entropy And Chaos.' While the latter has some great sections, there are some sections and musical ideas which draw on for a little too long. 'Love Despair' on the other hand, works much better as a composition; it scales through a myriad of different emotions, and while not qualifying of the glory a full-fledged epic may receive, is still a welcome contribution to this album.

The biggest strengths on 'A Stimulus For Reason' are actually the shorter, more concise songs. With the longer pieces, Alpha Galates seems to let a few less inspired ideas get through, whereas on the more to-the-point tracks, each segment feels purposeful in the overall scheme of things. While being a strong and powerful album, 'A Stimulus For Reason' is very blatant to show the band;s wide range of influences, and seems to emulate quite a few different artists over the course of the record. However, Alpha Galates already have some incredible production values and musical skill going for their project, and a second effort from this Canadian group should see even greater results.

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |

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