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Altura - Mercy CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.13 | 16 ratings

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4 stars A good grab is you want a break from DT.

A great grab if you want to hear good Prog Metal that is not DT.

Why do I like Altura's "Mercy" so much? It's rare enough, nieve enough, and not overly metal. It has more of a hard rock leaning. It has great moments any DT snob can enjoy and not feel threatened by... plus good enough to have a non-DT fan enjoy it for it's prog outbursts and "light but not wimpy-ness" like the band Enchant. "One By One" is great but I think "One Dimension" is the strongest song on the album. Very varied, cohesive, and extremely emotional. "Alternate Lines" gets heavy. "The Continuum" is instrumental. The album as a whole deals with strong emotional themes: growing up. Some deal with the topic of drowning and being lost in who you are. Some deal with fear. Some being stagnant or in "living Limbo". Some about learning and overcoming predetermined limitations. Very heady for a prog metal band.

The singer is much more emotional than you would think. His has some limited range... there is no screaming or shrill wails. Just proper, well sung, in tune/range tenor vocals... unlike Steve Walsh, who's a "belter"... or Brie cheese who's a bit nasal and weak.

The keys are quite good. Busy, active, and some real Hammond in a few parts! Sweet!

The drummer isn't too busy. He does a great job. His kit is quite crisp, live and open.

The bassist is nimble, holds it down, plays a 5 string, and is percussive and audible. Some little slapping in some parts. The tone is very basic and sterile. It could have been tweaked.

There isn't too much to say about the guitar. He's quite good, smooth, and he doesn't shred... thank God.

DT might have defined the genre after Helloween made "Keeper Pt II", when Fates Warning did ANYTHING, and when Queensryche did "Mindcrime"... these to me are the definitive first true Prog Metal lords, but Altura has it's own to offer. One that does not pound your head. One that does not great on you.

I hate the fact that DT must be mentioned when reviewing this album or other prog metal acts. As far as Prog Metal is concerned, I dislike that genre because of DT's status. It ruined the fact that when you enjoy bands they are always in the back of you mind because EVERYONE mentions them and uses them as a ruler, a guide, or as the friggin' gospel.

Thank you, Altura. It's a great listen. 4 solid stars for metal heads 3 for non metal lovers.

Oh... the lead singer, Rain Irving, has a solo project. Look him up.

Monsterbass74 | 4/5 |


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