Where does metal come from? What part of the world is generally accepted as the home of metal? Most would say Scandinavia, and other parts of Europe, though the United States has been no slouch in terms of its metal output. This is what makes Almah so interesting; they aren’t from either metal hub but have still managed to crank out some great music.
Almah is from Brazil, which to be fair is not destitute when it comes to metal, but neither would one include it in the discussion of giant metal countries. Edu Falaschi, Vocals, started Almah as a solo side project opposite his other band Angra, but Almah quickly developed into something more. Before long the current lineup of Felipe Andreoli, Bass, from Angra, who joined along with Marcelo Barbosa, a Berklee graduate and master guitar player, Paulo Schroeber, another brilliant guitarist, and Marcelo Moreira on drums came into being.
Motion was recorded very quickly, between May and June 2011, but it sounds anything but rushed. “Hypnotized” functions very well as an album opener; it chugs along at a thunderous pace. “Living And Drifting” moves slightly faster and features some incredible dual guitar soloing between Schroeber and Barbosa. They are unbelievable. The groove on “Days Of The New” is very catchy and offers a nice change of pace from the first two songs’ tempos, but it isn’t without more amazing guitar shredding that has to be heard to be believed. “Zombies Dictator” not only has a great song title, but also a bridge in the middle that flat out rocks. The thrash riffage opening “Daydream Lucidity” is simply astonishing, but this track also does something else; it says loudly…spend more time not in the key of B flat. “When and Why” is a beautiful album closer, featuring acoustic guitar and vocals alone that have an X factor to it; I can’t quite put my finger on why it’s as good a track as it is.
There really isn’t a single weak song on this record. Motion also treads a fine line very well, between making each song memorable at risk of the album not sounding cohesive. The little things that make each track memorable on its own are very subtle, but they’re there, which is what matters.
Almah has received high praise from their beginning, and based on this album it sounds deserved. One complaint I have is actually addressed in “Daydream Lucidity,” it gets a little boring for every song to be in the same key, consistently. This track spends much of its time around it but not in it. It’s a nice touch that solves that problem. The other critique I have is that for most of the album I couldn’t hear the lead vocals as clearly as I’d like. This is a shame, as I’ve found Edu Falaschi to be a very good vocalist indeed.
Almah’s latest offering, Motion, is simply a good record. Other than the vocals it’s well produced, the songwriting is excellent, the musicianship is outstanding. It’s solid in every way an album should be.
Key Tracks: Daydream Lucidity, Zombies Dictator, Days Of The New
January 4, 2012