Nuclear Blast [Release date 24.11.17]
Second album from the band Almanac, which was formed by former Rage guitarist Victor Smolski, who utilises a trio of vocalists, namely Andy B. Franke (Brainstorm), David Readman (Pink Cream 69) and Jeannette Marchewka (Lingua Mortis Orchestra). The rhythm section of Tim Rashid (bass) and Athanasios “Zacky” Tsoukas (drums) completes the band’s line-up.
Almanac serve up bombastic symphonic metal as the album cover and song titles would suggest, from the epic refrains of ‘Kingdom Of The Blind’ through to the metal assault of ‘Hail To The King’, they don’t half rock!
There is the token slow ballad, ‘Last Farewell’ where Victor Smolski reigns in his guitar histrionics for some gentle acoustic playing. Fair play to Victor as he refrains from allowing the guitars to overrun the music, however fans of his playing and Rage fear not as he still lets fly with some stunning solos.
Even if this sort of metal is not your bag, make sure you have a listen to ‘Losing My Mind’ – a perfect mix of all three vocalists backed by a hypnotic synth and guitar riffs.
The album may dip on a couple of songs, however the three vocalists ensure it is a powerful metal ride. David Readman in particular puts in one of his finest performances to date. Almanac are well worth a listen for those who enjoy symphonic/power metal. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
On Sunday 28 July 2019, David Randall celebrated his 600th show. “Assume The Position” started in June 2007 on UK City Radio before transferring a year later to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio. The show includes tracks played on the first show plus Upton Blues Festival highlights, new music and the regular features “Live Legends” and “Anniversary Rock” which this week celebrates the Island Records label 60th anniversary.
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Power Plays w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)
BEFORE FIRE Dead Eyes (indie)
SCOTT & MARIA Never Give Up (indie)
CORELEONI Queen Of Hearts (AFM Records)
BERLIN Transcendance (Cleopatra Records)
PHIL CAMPBELL These Old Boots (Nuclear Blast)
PHIL LANZON Blue Mountain (Phil Lanzon Ditties/Cargo Records UK)
Featured Albums w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 SOLEIL MOON Warrior (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 ROXY BLUE Roxy Blue (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 DREW HOLCOMB & THE NEIGHBORS Dragons (Magnolia Music/Thirty Tigers)
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
JAMES STEVENSON Everything’s Getting Closer To Being Over (2013)
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