Almah - Unfold

Almah Unfold cover
Scarlet Records
Listening to this album.... I had to listen to it a few times before it struck me as being odd. The bad has “changed” and while I didn’t exactly like the change, itself, I suppose I could not help liking some of the songs either… so I was trying to figure out what was it... well it’s all the modernity that the band has allowed to creep into their compositions… basically, after the somewhat disappointing album that motion was to most people the band seems to return to their more typical style, but in a totally unconventional and unpredictable way, as they seem to incorporate a lot of alternative styles and orchestrations that are pretty unlikely to go hand in hand together... grungier guitars and meaner vocals collide with pianos and then smoother vocals or the opposite… you get all the crazy combinations you can think of and it keeps things very fresh and very odd.
Obviously, it makes you go a little “hmmmmm”? What the hell’s going on here?! There are still very nice melodies on songs like “Wings of Revolution”, the infectious tribal rhythms of songs like “In My Sleep”, smooth ballads like “Warm Wind” and so on and so forth... it’s really crazy... just as if you’ve taken Angra, mangled them up, remixed them with some dub band and who knows what else, threw some Alice in Chains + the chains in the mix and stirred!
The production of the album is really modern and bombastic with the percussion and the vocals really all around you, creating a really lively atmosphere... but since this albums comes after an album of rather “dubious” status, it will either win back the fans that had “strayed” and had seen their fandom, “shaken” by the band’s “transgression” or maybe completely lose them to the band, being so boldly defiant with the experimentation and all. On the other hand, the band manages to so seamlessly blend all those “not so metal” elements and craft this new alloy of their sound, quite effortlessly and almost in a transparent way... I am guessing, it’s partly due to the severely downtuned guitars that they sounds this modern and groovy, but maybe they went a step too far… I am guessing… with progression… sometimes, you got to take the metal crowd over in baby steps, maybe over an album and an EP or two albums or not at all. See how well that has worked for some people! At any rate… for having the gull to try something “different” and some pretty well crafted songs Almah have earned my respect and up to a point my admiration, but I must admit, that I liked them much more during the initial phases of the bands career.