Almah – E.V.O

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I’ve always been an unabashed and unapologetic fan of Edu Falaschi. His work in ANGRA and in ALMAH after he left the former have constantly built on an outstanding resume of vocal performances, and E.V.O, the fifth release from ALMAH (out September 23 on Test Your Metal Records) is no exception.

E.V.O is a concept album, dealing with the evolution of the mind and soul during the Age of Aquarius – it’s a pretty lofty theme, full of positive imagery with compositions that match the upbeat and hopeful nature of the story that Edu has crafted, but the songs also stand on their own without being tied together by the narrative. It’s mostly happy and joyful power metal, with a few hints of a progressive influence, and it all just WORKS.

Marcelo Barbosa and Diogo Mafra (guitars) have some beautiful work that stands out and ties every song together, especially on the first three tracks, “Age of Aquarius”, “Speranza”, and “The Brotherhood”, the last of which is as powerful an anthem as I’ve heard in years. The rhythm corps of Raphael Dafras (bass) and Pedro Tinello (drums) provide great support, and their backing work support the guitars and vocals perfectly.

First and foremost, of course, is the excellent vocal work by Edu, and fans will not be surprised nor disappointed by the quality of his work on this album. His singing really rips you to shreds and makes you FEEL these songs – if you’re a fan of the European or Brazilian power metal styles, you are going to love this disc.

I’m not going to go into a track by track breakdown, but after the first three tracks, the album is a bit of a roller coaster, dipping into a serious, contemplative tone on “Innocence”, and returning the listener to a hopeful outlook with the next songs, “Higher” and “Infatuated”. They start to bring the emotions back the other way with “Pleased to Meet You” and “Final Warning”, and then settling into a slightly darker sound with the last three tracks, “Indigo”, “Corporate War”, and “Capital Punishment”, which mix the serious tone of the music and some soaring vocals that wrap the album up perfectly.

If you like ANY of Edu Falaschi’s previous work, E.V.O should be a day one purchase, if you haven’t already pre-ordered. I can highly recommend this release – it’s a beautiful, well-crafted piece of musical genius, and it’s going to take a crowbar to get this disc out of my CD player when I eventually decide to start listening to something else.

STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM

RATING: 9.5/10

-FRANK ZABER


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