Album review: ALIRIO – All Things Must Pass

ALIRIO - All Things Must Pass

Frontiers [Release date 06.08.21]

Alirio (Netto) is big in Brazil.

Arguably, he’s paid his dues several times over, appearing on stage in several rock musicals through the years to considerable acclaim, as well as being the frontman for Khalice, Age Of Artemis and Shaman, three metal bands performing in the Prog and Power arenas.

South America has become an increasingly fertile stomping ground for Frontiers Music, with Raphael (Icon of Sin) Mendes and Inez Vera (Inner Stream) Ortiz releasing albums recently. The results have been mixed.

In this case, Alirio and his band bridge over several artificial boundaries. Glassy guitars and discreetly programmed percussion mix satisfyingly with bass heavy rhythms in Adriano Dega’s semi contemporary rock production, carefully arranged with one foot in the past and one foot in the present. And if you listen on really good headphones/ earphones or speakers, it sounds magnificent.

It’s an interesting construction in many ways. Such tracks as ‘Back To My Roots’, which sounds like Alice Cooper performing a song modelled on the theatrical stomp of Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’, and the syrupy, Backstreet Boys/Westlife kitchen sink ballad, (no key change sadly), ‘Here I Am’, are almost tangential departures from the matter in hand.

‘All Things Must Pass’, the track, ‘Back To The Light’ and ‘I’m Still Here’ indicate a more complex compositional direction, but nothing’s overdone. Even the more ambitious tracks – the whirling, wheeling ‘Edinburgh’, lightly steeped in celtic tradition, and ‘The First Time’, which brings a bit of Hollywood musical dazzle to procedings – are clearly well within Alirio’s reach.

The duet with Arnel (Journey) Pineda, ‘Grey’, is a bit special, and not because of Pineda, who graciously remains in the shadows. But because Alirio takes hold of this sweeping ballad and very effectively delivers a study in subtly subdued performance.

More please ****

review by Brian McGowan

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