Almah – Unfold (Scarlet Records)

Wednesday, 13th November 2013
Rating: 9/10

Leaving one of the premiere power/progressive metal outfits in Brazil Angra last year after a successful 12 year run, vocalist Edu Falaschi can now devote the lion’s share of his creativity to Almah. Originally started as a solo project in 2006 and quickly vaulting to a full-fledge band by their second album, Fragile Equality, they’ve moved into their fourth album in eight years with Unfold, featuring two new musicians in guitarist Gustavo Di Padua and bassist Raphael Dafras.

With 12 songs and over an hour of music, Almah engages the listener in a dynamic brand of neo-classical power metal with strong nods to the American scene, especially with the heavier tone and production values. Check out the twisted circular riffing/ rhythms within “The Hostage” and the bullet train synchronistic instrumental gymnastics for “Believer” to know that these musicians inspire with daring arrangements and intuitive interplay.

Falaschi excels in all facets as a power metal vocalist, using a more emotional nature for the commercially mid-tempo “Wings of Revolution” (think recent Circus Maximus here) and conventional hard rocking screams with bluesy, Badlands-meets-Whitesnake verse work on “You Gotta Stand.” Those who love fluid lead breaks packed with guitar hero elements will find plenty to enjoy about Marcelo Barbosa and the aforementioned Di Padua dealings- they know their Blackmore and Schenker tricks as much as Malmsteen-arpeggio shredding or tapping, both sides evident in the 9:47 epic “Treasure of the Gods.”

People into Hibria can savor the up tempo material, while those who like modern and darker touches will think Nevermore and current Symphony X are major compatriots to Almah’s style. Whatever the case, Unfold is another stellar effort from the South American power/progressive metal community, and should be a great end of the year stocking stuffer.

Almah official site