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Ray Alder - What the Water Wants CD (album) cover


Ray Alder


Progressive Metal

3.72 | 4 ratings

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3 stars "What The Water Wants" is the debut full-length studio album by US heavy rock/metal artist Ray Alder. The album was released through InsideOutMusic in October 2019. While this is Alderīs first solo album, he is of course a seasoned and highly respected singer credited with performing vocals on many albums by Fates Warning, Redemption, and Engine.

Itīs always interesting to hear which music style a musician chooses for his solo albums, when you are used to listening to a relatively specific style of music on his main projects. In the case of Fates Warning and Redemption thatīs progressive metal. The material on "What The Water Wants" is generally not as complex or as challenging as the material on Alderīs other projects, and the overall music style is a melodic type of heavy rock/metal with Alderīs strong voice and vocals in front. If I have to compare "What The Water Wants" to anything Alder has been involved in before, it would be "Parallels (1991)" by Fates Warning, but minus Mark Zonderīs busy off-beat drumming and the semi-progressive tendencies of that album.

The material on the 10 track, 46:03 minutes long album (some versions feature "The Road" in an acoustic version as a bonus track) are well written, melodic, and catchy. Itīs a long time since weīve heard Alder sing anything this melodic and memorable. Fates Warning have experimented a lot with their vocal melody lines since the start of the new millenium, and Alderīs qualities and melodic sensivity havenīt always come to their right in that soundscape. On "What The Water Wants" the listener is treated to Alder in all his melodic glory though and to fans of early 90s Fates Warning this is definitely a recommended listen. Alder has assembled a strong lineup of skilled musicians, who perform the songs in the right supportive way, to make sure that Alderīs vocals shine, but also with the right amount of passion and conviction, which means they arenīt "just" a backing band, who donīt contribute anything to the songs.

One of the things I noticed after listening to the album is how tasteful everything is delivered. Thereīs not one unnessesary note or drum fill featured on "What The Water Wants" and the tracks are all pleasant and memorable. Itīs a consistent release both in terms of musical direction and quality. One of the highlights to my ears is "The Road", which is a slow building but ultimately very powerful and beautiful song, but there arenīt any weak tracks on the album. The album is well produced too, featuring a clear and detailed sound production, and upon conclusion itīs a quality first solo release by Ray Alder. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

UMUR | 3/5 |


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