Alarion - Waves of Destruction

Alarion Waves of Destruction cover
Waves of Destruction
Freia Music
I must admit that at the same time as doing this review, I was also doing one for Damian Wilson’s solo album, so imagine my surprise, when I found out he’s involved in the majority of the songs of Alarion’s debut, as well. Deja-friggin-vu!
“Waves of Destruction” is the debut album of Alarion, a project by Dutch guitarist Bas Willemsen, and apart from the aforementioned Wilson it features quite a few guest musicians. It’s hard to exactly put one’s finger on what the exact style of the band is. There are heavy prog rock overtones along with slight symphonic tendencies, but it doesn’t exactly follow the strict conventions of the genre, going for a somewhat more liberal pop/rock direction that never fully takes over. Wilson sounds warm as usual, but he can also sound dramatic and exaggerated…
It’s a roller-coaster of emotional states the album takes the listener on, bringing to mind the cool, but complex style of bands like Shadow Gallery, but in an entirely more retro sounding way. And yeah, you can’t help but to think of Threshold because of Wilson’s unmistakable timbre. Irene Jansen and Paul Glandorf, who’ve worked with Arjen Lucasen, also supply vocals and there’s moog and violins so you sort of get the idea. In fact this whole thing doesn’t sound a mile away from what Arjen does in Ayreon, but not in that “opera” format with dialogues etc., but in a more traditional song oriented format.
Opener “Chains of the Collective” manages to represent the albums style in a little under six minutes, which is impressive but it’s the four songs that make up the “Waves of Destruction” suite that probably are the centerpiece of the album and they are quite cool. “Turn of Fate” that’s also reprised acoustically is nice.
You know, it’s quite an impressive album that pulls all stops and takes no punches. Well done!