Albatross - Fear from the Skies

Albatross Fear from the Skies cover
Fear from the Skies
Transcending Obscurity
Albatross are allegedly pretty big in their native India and through releases of their former members and their own EP and split previously released. Their full length debut, has just arrived and is a potent mix of for a lack of another description classically inspired metal, with slight prog slants and a modernist approach in terms of sound, mixed with horror stories, (the songs from the album formulate two story arcs) in a quite interesting amalgam.
The first story, has to do with some evil clown, an mysterious “Intro: Advance” leads you into the “The Raptorsville Fair” a vaudevillian sideshow, complete with damaged organ melodies and some sharp riffing that follows before the sideshow atmosphere takes over again in a more sinister tone.
“Jugglehead the Clown” is darker, more sinister and borderline “early” Annihilator like, but never too quick, while “Children of the Cloud” is decidedly decadent.
The “Outro: Fold” simply concludes this little scary-tale! Interesting...
The last three songs, are the tale of a “flying assassin” beginning with “In the Lair of Dr.Hex”, which has some interesting classically inspired solos, that perforate its otherwise sickening atmosphere...
The “Tale of Two Tyrants” is an interesting, slightly more elaborate piece, with a lot of “meat” and a darker more violent vibe and the conclusion comes with “The Empire of Albatross” another long winded number which concludes this story as well.
Albatross are an interesting case. They manage OK in creating conceptual pieces, but the nature alone of their style makes the flow of the album a little weird, as they choose to never raise the tempo significantly and it would be interesting to see them mixing things up a bit. They are certainly accomplished players, and even singer Biprorshee Das for whom I had reservations, (since if you’ve heard how most Indians speak… you just might) is intelligible and for the most part, sings quite nicely, he doesn’t avoid the pitfall of going for some quite off the wall and possibly off pitch moments, in trying to keep the delivery, interesting, but he does seem to be a good asset for the band and his mysterious, hard to place delivery, is not dragging the band down by any means. Being a debut, the band gets a free ride for me, but I’d be interested to see them doing self-contained concepts, faster and more compact songs and in general being more adventurous. While their own identity and personal sound are interesting, they need a bit more work, to become competitive on the international arena.