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Review: Alkemyst - Through Painful Lanes
Through Painful Lanes

Label: Nightmare Records
Year released: 2008
Duration: 52:17
Tracks: 9
Genre: Progressive Power Metal

Rating: 4.75/5

Review online: October 14, 2008
Reviewed by: Bruce Dragonchaser
Readers Rating
Through Painful Lanes

Rated 4.6/5 (92%) (10 Votes)

Back in 2003, it was all I could do to force my entire social circle to indulge in what I believed to be one of the finest metal albums ever crafted, the fabulous Meeting in the Mist by an unknown French Power Metal cadre called Alkemyst. Yes, it was a tumultuous time in the world of metal, and with an absolute smorgasbord of acts to choose from, decisions were hard to come by. Yet that album — a veritable banquet of ineluctable pleasure — came at you like a shotgun blast of Prog-Power precision, coated and glazed by the poignant melodies of Secret Sphere frontman Ramon Messina. A masterclass in the genre. So praise the lord, swordbearers. Because Alkemyst are back. With their second album, Through Painful Lanes. Check your wallets before reading on...

Anyone who is even remotely interested in Progressively-tinged Power Metal absolutely needs this album. It's intelligent, coherent, and yes, even at times a little beautiful. It is what I've been waiting for all year, and very little has rivaled its majestic presence. Things have changed dramatically since Meeting in the Mist, that's for damn sure. These guys have been harnessing their songwriting skills for one, because there is more variation on this thing than at breakfast buffet, with elements of nearly all the main players permeating through a collection of stoically crafted mini-epics that twist and turn before your very eyes, being celeritous and invasive one moment ("The Beast Within"), reflective and powerful the next ("When Morning Comes"). The influences are still there, but Alkemyst sit firmly on the border of originality. Their sound is so refined, yet heavy and aggressive at the same time. Perhaps the biggest reference point would be Andre Matos-era Angra, with enough Vision Divine, Gamma Ray, and Evergrey passages to make even the casual listener stand up and identify them. The production is thick and clean, giving the music maximum clarity for digestion. There is a lot going on, no mistake there, but if a potpourri of flashy keyboards, furious guitars and ripping double kicks sounds like the kind of thing you'd like to get to know over the coming winter months, Through Painful Lanes is a flaming dart heading right for the bull's eye.

Other related information on the site
Review: Meeting In The Mist (reviewed by Ktb)
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