Almah - Unfold (Scarlet Records)

Brazilian progsters with an alternative itch that needs to be scratched...
Release Date: 
25 Nov 2013 (All day)

Brazilian power/prog act Almah are back with a fourth album, Unfold, and, whilst it’s undoubtedly their most accomplished album to date, it’s not a wholly satisfying listening experience if truth be told.

I realise the point of tagging yourself ‘progressive’ is to well, progress, but you get the sense about halfway through Unfold that the band doesn’t quite know where it sees itself in the now or, perhaps more importantly, in the future; Are they a power metal band? Purely a prog outfit? Or an alternative rock band? There are so many disparate strands being weaved here that at times the record lacks cohesion as the band race off at tangents and down blind alleys trying to cover as much ground as possible over the course of the album’s dozen tracks.

For myself, I like it when they keep things simple. The uplifting anthem Wings of Revolution stands out here as an example of this; It opens with an almost Coldplay-style piano motif before exploding into a gloriously anthemic chorus. It’s simple, sure, but it’s well played, beautifully sung  and shows just how good this band can be when they play things straight.

Vocalist Edu Falaschi – and it’s his band after all so I guess you have to give the man his creative head – in particular seems keen to show us that this band isn’t ‘merely’ a power metal vehicle for his impressive pipes (in fact he does a quite gobsmacking and, it has to be said, confusing, impression of Mike Patton on You Gotta Stand), but when the band romps through the fast-paced Believer his voice comes into its own and you’re left wondering why he wants to plough different musical furrows when h does one – power metal – so well.

On the whole, then, this is not bad at all. I’d just like to see the band adopting a less scattershot approach to songwritng next time, and try a bit more focus – you can’t please us all, all the time, so stop trying!