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
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Each week David Randall presents ‘New to GRTR!’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, with the emphasis on independent artists and labels. During December he replays favourite tracks including power plays featured during the year. This show covers the period January-March and was first broadcast on 1 December 2019.
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