|Review: Almah - Fragile Equality|
Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2008
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: January 3, 2009
Reviewed by: PowerMetal59
Sounds Like: Angra during the Rebirth years.
Almah began as the solo project of former Angra Vocalist Edu Falaschi. Their debut received favorable reviews and numerous guest appearances from such luminaries as guitarists Emppu Vuorinen (Nightwish) and Mike Stone (Queensryche), bassist Lauri Porra (Stratovarius) and drummer Casey Grillo (Kamelot). However, now with the apparent break up of Angra due to legal problems with their management, which will reportedly lead to a protracted court battle over who owns the rights to the Angra name, Edu has refocused all his attention toward Almah, which is now a full time band.
A word that comes to mind when listening to Fragile Equality is diverse, the album begins with the killer Power Metal anthem "Birds Of Prey", an auspicious beginning to say the least, followed by the ultra catchy and melodic "Beyond Tomorrow", "Magic Flame" delivers a pure melodic Speed Metal attack that bludgeons the senses. "All I Am" quiets things down a bit to allow you to catch your breath, although a lover of ballads I am not I must say this one struck a pleasant chord. "You'll Understand" returns us to the energy and excitement of the opening three tracks, while the semi-ballad "Invisible Cage" permits the boys to express their Brazilian folk roots that was so much a part of the Angra trademark. We wrap things up in fine fashion with face rippers "Fragile Equality" and a personal favorite "Torn". The ballad "Shade Of My Soul", while not horrible, certainly is the weak link in this chain and may warrant a trip to the skip button. The closing track "Meaningless World" is another album highlight!
In my opinion this exceeds any of Angra's previous works, Edu's vocals have never sounded better and guitarists Marcelo Barbosa and Paulo Schroeber display their talents throughout the album balancing precise powerful riffing with face melting solos, bassist Felipe Andreoli and drummer Marcelo Moreira provide a solid rhythm section.
The songwriting is top notch with all five members contributing, the lyrical concept for the songs is derived from a book that Edu co-wrote which is based on "the balance between all the elements of the universe". OK, thats great, all I know is the elements sure came together to produce a superb album, fans of Angra rejoice. Highly Recommended!
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