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Alms - Beyond CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.48 | 32 ratings

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Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Like a breeze of fresh air from the 70's with a 21st century approach

Except for the usual suspects as MIKE OLDFIELD or VANGELIS, I'm not too fond on one man bands, but the first time I heard ALMS debut Beyond, was positively impressed, AITOR LUCENA is very talented in all the instruments, but what I liked more were the drums, being that this is usually the weakest point of multi-instrumentalists, but in this case, the sound is great.

Beyond is a conceptual album about the journey of man after death and it's divided in three epics with clear Symphonic structures, but deliciously blended with Folk and Hard Rock sections, creating a unique experience with his eclectic sound.

The album is opened by the Hypnos, a 14:14 minutes epic that starts with a percussion and flute intro, after almost two minutes and without any warning, a full orchestral sound hits the listener whio can only applaud, but when you're getting ready to expect an orchestral Symphonic album in the vein of Heaven & Hell, Aitor surprises us with a heavy passage, from then on, the changes are so radical that the only rule you need is to expect the unexpected.

Sweet piano, Moog, acoustic guitar, full orchestra, one after the other, fused with dexterity and great taste crossing through every imaginable style, from Medieval to Baroque and frenetic Rock as a musical travel in time, simply delightful

Even when Thanatos maintains the Symphonic structure, Aitor adds abundant Folk with Celtic references, but after a medieval passage, the drums announce a change and the music starts to go in crescendo leaded by a dramatic organ, and then, as in the first track, the listener must be ready for anything, this time sounds a bit as Symphonic Metal with the usual classical references. Aitor again hits the nail right in the head with the second of three epics that remind me of the heavier JETHRO TULL albums.

The album is closed by a third epic called Caronte (the ferryman of Hades), much more dramatic and Classical oriented than the first two pieces, with more unexpected changes specially the one from a frantic organ passage to a sweet flute in the vein of THIJS VAN LEER, then to an almost Metallic style to end with a Celtic passage, all in a matter of two minutes. Really loved this track, has every single detail and excesses that obsessive progheads as myself enjoy so much.

As a rule, I almost never rate a debut album with 5 stars, because that would be like admitting that the artist has reached his peak, and in the case of ALMS I expect much more. To be fair, Beyond deserves no less than a 4.5 rating, sadly the system of our beloved site only admits full stars, so I will have to go with four solid stars, and wait with anxiety for ALMS next release.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |


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