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Alarum - Fluid Motion CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.05 | 4 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'Fluid Motion' - Alarum (6/10)

As is the case for many progressive death metal acts, Alarum began by playing a more straightforward brand of metal. With the debut 'Fluid Motion', this Australian jazz metal band performs a striking mix of thrash energy and death heaviness. The degree of complexity that would come with later work is not yet here, but as it stands, 'Fluid Motion' is a competent thrash-death crossover record.

Alarum sound readily influenced by the pioneers Death, in the sense that Death made their first strides by combining death metal and thrash together. For anyone mildly familiar with either genre, it's granted that 'Fluid Motion' will not appeal to many outside the metal community. This is largely due to the style, but also due to the impression that nothing in 'Fluid Motion' particularly stands out. Save for a slight flirtation with progressive jazz elements, Alarum's debut passes me as being competent, but little more, at least at this stage. Instrumentally, Alarum typically switches between straightforward thrash rhythms and contrasts it with more technically admirable passages, sometimes reminiscent of death metal, and other times sounding like they could be paying tribute to prog-era Voivod. The song 'Could This Be Real?' provides a bit of a refreshment, giving the listener a jazzy angle. There is a good variety in the vocals as well, with clean singing, Schuldiner-esque growls, and a marriage between the two, at times. Where 'Fluid Motion' begins to buckle is that none of these numerous elements ever excel. The clean vocals seem to run flat, the growls lack distinction, and as technically skilled as the musicianship is, there's nothing here that blows the competition out of the water.

In short, 'Fluid Motion' is a fairly ambitious, and ultimately decent output from a band who would go on to become one of the leading forces of jazz metal. It lacks the flow and tact of an excellent album, but there's nothing bad about this one at all.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |


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