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ALHMA MATER

Progressive Metal • Spain


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Alhma Mater biography
ALHMA MATER are a progressive metal act formed in 2007 in Basque Country, Spain by vocalist Juan Manuel Donoso and guitarist/ composer Jorge Sánchez. ALHMA MATER was started after the pair´s former heavy metal act LAGASH disbanded. The band released their debut full-length studio album "Heuristica" in July 2009. The album is free for download on the band´s official website.

The inclusion of ALHMA MATER to the Prog Archives database was approved by the Progressive Metal Team.

( Biography written by UMUR)

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ALHMA MATER discography


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ALHMA MATER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.17 | 3 ratings
Heuristica
2009
3.14 | 3 ratings
Nova Era
2011

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ALHMA MATER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Nova Era by ALHMA MATER album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.14 | 3 ratings

BUY
Nova Era
Alhma Mater Progressive Metal

Review by octopus-4
Special Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

3 stars When I downloaded this album from Alhma Mater's website I didn't know what to expect. The first impression was good. A kind of progressive metal that immediately reminded me to Ayreon, so really not bad, but progressing with the listen I have found some song that appeared too pop-oriented and out of place.

The album is opened by "Nova Era (Cut The Threads)" that's pretty symphonic with a very good guitar solo. Just an intro to the first metal song: "La Promesa". Good prog metal on which the Spanish lyrics sound quite well, however the first symptoms of pop appear as soon as the guitar quiets down.

Also "Ira" starts in line with all the metal standards and is a pleasant song, specially because of the very good guitar work. The song is almost melodic even when the tempo increases due to the very clean vocals and probably because of the language as Spanish usually doesn't sound very hard. There's nothing wrong in the voice or in the language, but honestly I prefer the instrumental parts.

"A Tus Pires" is darker than the previous tracks, but it's still melodic and this time the vocal part is good enough. Again I think to Ayreon as reference.

After a short intro ("Un Dia Gris. Part 1") the following song ("Un Dia Gris Part 2") starts with a Floydian mood. The acoustic guitar, some noises and radio voices are soon joined by the metal guitar. Up to now I have mentioned Ayreon, but even Riverside can be heard in this song. This song belongs surely to PA. The instrumental part in the middle of the song is great, but when Juan Manuel restarts singing the melody is very pop-oriented. This doesn't last much, as a bolero rhythm comes with a soprano to make it symphonic for a while. But the chorus is really too pop for my tastes.

"Martir" Starts very slow on a keyboards landscape. The not too much distorted guitar with the piano sound like some Senmuth's ambient songs, until the metal is back. Good prog- metal. This is another dark track, but even on this song there's a lot of melody. Not a bad thing. It's just a question of tastes.

"Morir En El Intento" is my favorite track. I wouldn't have disliked a touch of growl here, but now it's clear that this band has a metal approach in the arrangements but has a melodic and symphonic soul which becomes evident in the sung parts.

"Solo per un Segundo" is what I mean as "pop-oriented". It's the song that has made me decrease the overall rating. Very radio-friendly. Thumb down for it.

"Don't Forgive, don't forget" sounds a bit neo-prog and gives a better direction to my thumb, aso thanks to the good guitar. Not an impressive riff but very well balanced in sounds.

"Si Encuentro Un Momento" is probably the best in the sung songs. Alhma Mater give their best when they make true metal.

"El Largo Final" is another quite good track, still too melodic to me, but again, it's just my personal taste. It doesn't mean that it's bad. Probably singing one octave higher would have made it sound more "standard metal".

"En Memoria...De Tu Silencio" is the closer. The fact that it's VERY melodic this time is a good thing as it's the most progressive moment of the whole album. I like this song. Probably it's the melody that is stronger than on the previous slow tracks. In this case, even if radio-friendly it shows some more composing skill.

In the complex it's a good album. Not my pot but three stars, even a little rounded up, are deserved.

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 Heuristica by ALHMA MATER album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.17 | 3 ratings

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Heuristica
Alhma Mater Progressive Metal

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars Pretty good progressive metal from Spain.

I am not in particular fond of progressive metal which sounds like power metal from Germany or Scandinavia. So Heuristica should not really appeal to me at all. It is like sending a lamb to the slaughter, really.

But I gladly admit that this album is not bad at all. I guess fans of progressive metal which is bordering to power and heavy metal would really enjoy this free download. I would not be surprised if Alhma Mater earn themselves a record deal with a German or another big metal label on the basis of this album. So download this album now while it is free.

The music here is somewhere between prog, power and heavy metal. But it is still pretty progressive. It also have a Spanish feel with some hints of flamenco and Spanish folk music too. The faster stuff here is good, bordering to superb. The inclusion of two power ballads in the year 2009 is........ well.......... smile and say CHEESE !!! None of those ballads are bad though. But I guess most of you will burst into a big ironic grin when confronted with them.

The lyrics are in Spanish and I cannot make any comments. The vocalist is superb and do not shame the band or the music. The rest of the musicians also knows their stuff. The music is guitar based with a rather good solo-guitarist. Yes, you also get this typical power/ heavy metal riffing/chugging too. But the guitarists know what they are doing. The artwork too is superb. I am not a fan of this type of music. But this is a rather good album which I find both good and inoffensive.

Besides of the two power ballads, Alhma Mater stays well clear of the biggest cliches and crimes this power/prog/heavy metal scene is offering us. It is a free download, but I would not had complained too much if I had paid money for this album. I hope to hear more from this band in the future. Alhma Mater is hereby included in my "talents worth following up later" book.

3.5 stars

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