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ALMS

Symphonic Prog • Spain


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Alms biography
Since being a little child, Aitor Lucena?s interest for music has been obsessively increasing throughout the years. After growing up with the music of bands and musicians such as Mike Oldfield, Pink Floyd and Jethro Tull (to name a few), he definitely jumps into music along with Heavy Metal, astonished by the powerful sound of Iron Maiden, Helloween and Blind Guardian (again, to name a few).

So he starts taking guitar lessons and, meanwhile, searches for people to share his musical concerns. That?s how, being a teenager, Aitor Lucena begins taking part in local bands, playing -well, trying to- covers of their idols, but mostly drinking beer, having fun and learning a lot.

Soon Aitor realizes that he could do something on his own, so he starts writing and composing his own material. At first it is simple, immature and schematic due to the lack of experience, but the satisfaction gained from hearing his own creations makes him want to go further in his compositions, so he begins learning from Symphonic and Progressive Rock, Classical Music and, to sum up, from all kinds of complex music.

Aitor Lucena becomes a prog-head and starts experimenting with ?weird? stuff: odd time signatures, tempo changing, long-lasting suites? Along with the bands mentioned before, he is strongly influenced by Genesis, ELP, Gentle Giant, Le Orme and all the greatest prog bands, so the time to start a prog band by himself had come. But given the fact that Progressive Rock is not very popular nowadays (specially in Spain), the task wouldn?t be easy.

Meanwhile, and working as a teacher, Aitor earns a little money which he invests on several instruments and a humble home studio. In order to get the most from it, he starts studying a Grade in Sound Engineering and keeps on with his compositions.

After several failed attempts to start a band, he decides to record his music on his own? and Aitor created ALMS? and he saw that it was good?

Aitor Lucena - ALMS

NOTE: We never include bios from a web page, but this was a request from the artist

Iván Melgar-Morey

Alms official website

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

3.44 | 18 ratings
Beyond
2013

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ALMS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Beyond by ALMS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.44 | 18 ratings

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Beyond
Alms Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Alms from Spain is a one man project - Aitor Lucena. He is responsable for everything is to be heared on the debut named Beyond from 2013. Well, despite some good parts, the album has only 3 pieces, but all are clocking around 14-15 min in length, that mean are lots of tempo changes, odd signature, and quite good overall playing. The album all instrumental with a clear symphonic prog direction taken influences from bands like ELP most of the time, and from italian school like Le Orme or PFM, also there are some folk passages who remind me sporadicaly of Focus or Jethro Tull. I can say I like this release, not particulary very strong, because in some parts the arrangements are little chaotic, no clear direction of the pieces. The highlight for me is the opening Hypnos, the rest two are just ok. So, for me 3 stars, good but nothing special.

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 Beyond by ALMS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.44 | 18 ratings

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Beyond
Alms Symphonic Prog

Review by DrömmarenAdrian

4 stars Now to the third and the best of 2013 I have listened to today, the Spanish artist Alms debut album "Beyond". It has earlier been examined by two professional, I a remember I was very inspired of Ivan Melgar's review this summer.

Alms, which real name is Aitor Lucena is a Spanish multi instrumentalist, which music travells between a medieval word and a bit of Mike Oldfield. What I hear here is excellent and the record wasn't far from being a perfect one. I think the cover has a very old style, both the fonts and the items you see represents a time not fix in modern world.

"Beyond" consists of three song songs and according to me they become better and better and I have rated the songs: 3.5, 4 and 5. But if I listen again perhaps my favourite would have been another. This music contains so much of interest. Perhaps I like the parts of acoustic guitar most, or the barock parts, the classical and the medieval. It could also be like this that I like the parts that sounds just like symphonic rock most.

The listening of Alms' Beyond is very enjoyable time. We hear wonderful flute, organ, guitar and a nice wholeness. Many influences of folk music seem to be a part of this too, I hear something celtic and in the last track we hear a moments of very special percussion.

"Caronte" would I say is the peak of this record, but as I wrote, it could also be "Thanatos" or "Hypnos", it is a very good record. I wonder how just one person can do such nice music.

What I miss is not much: perhaps some vocals and something standing out more than it does.

Recommended record!

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 Beyond by ALMS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.44 | 18 ratings

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Beyond
Alms Symphonic Prog

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Collaborator Post/Math Rock and Crossover Teams

3 stars This is a nice instrumental album with plenty of symphonic arrangements. The tone is mostly rather light with a few heavy and fast moments thrown in, though I feel they don't really accomplish much. Flutes are the driving instruments here, and the musicians really power through the solos and accompaniments. I was quite impressed with this. Aside from that, the other instruments are lackluster, especially the drums.

This album has problems, though. The structures are messy. Very messy. The flutes overpower everything else, and erase any subtlety that may have been displayed in the other instruments. Sometimes, it seems like the flutes are playing a different song entirely. Sometimes it's the violins that feel this way. The album just comes across as beautiful, but incoherent and chaotic. Maybe that's what they wanted, but it doesn't make for a good listening experience. It's a pretty album, but the music needs work and maturity.

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 Beyond by ALMS album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.44 | 18 ratings

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Beyond
Alms Symphonic Prog

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator 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.

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