|Review: Almanac - Kingslayer|
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2017
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: December 19, 2017
Reviewed by: Bruno Medeiros
Almanac caused quite a bit of noise last year with the (not so) surprisingly good Tsar, freeing guitar master and genius composer Viktor Smolski from the shackles of his former band, Rage. Now with a mild notoriety and consolidating the vocal lineup from its first album (Andy B. Franck, David Readman and Jeannette Marchewka – as the bass and drum duties are renewed), the band tries to take it up a notch with Kingslayer, second album in a span of less than two years.
Expect higher doses of drama, monumental grandeur and epic atmosphere here compared to its predecessor as Smolski crank it up on the cheesiness of the songs, especially when his most virtuous and Neoclassical-like riffs and solos are displayed. The keyboard lines (also performed by him) are also more prominent here, providing great support in songs like "Guilty as Charged" and "Losing My Mind".
There is little to complain about on the album, but there are a couple of lackluster parts here and there. I would point out the constant sense of urgency and the several radio-friendly parts present in the songs as two deal breakers if you are looking for something more straightforward, but these are almost insignificant when you look at the whole picture.
I guess I don't have to say how killer of a musician Viktor Smolski is, as he's proven time and time again to be one of the best craftsmen in the Heavy/Power Metal business, so it's safe to say that Kingslayer is one more of his wins. Seemingly free to do as he pleases now, and joined by great musicians who know what to do and when to execute his ideas, he quickly transformed Almanac into a fun and mature act, capable of always being better. As it is with great artists, the band managed to surpass Tsar and will most definitely continue to improve in songwriting and execution as the albums come out.
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|Review: Tsar (reviewed by Bruno Medeiros)|
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