Almah
Edu Falashi

Seeing the words “all-star lineup” these days is almost enough to make me not even want to listen to a record. While the idea of a supergroup may seem kind of cool, the truth of the matter is it takes more than names to make music. For a band to truly be tight and locked in, they need years of working together, not a weekend in a studio.

So here’s an “all-star lineup” backing Angra vocalist Edu Falashi that includes members of Nightwish, Stratovarius, Kamelot and Queensryche. Sounds good, and I was almost convinced after the first track, “King,” a heavy, Judas Priest-flavored number that really gets this record off to a good start. From there, it begins to slide, though. There’s the typical power metal number “Take Back Your Spell,” followed by the hair band ballad “Forgotten Land”; and I’m practically in snooze control.

The great opening riff of “Scary Zone” woke me back up, and I thought for a moment we were going to get a return to the way the record opened. No such luck. A snoozable verse leads to an OK Queensryche-like chorus and not much excitement. That’s a big problem with this record. There’s something commendable about nearly every song, but its overwhelmed by the generic. A spacy little keyboard opening and nice riff open “Children of Lies,” there’s a cool opening riff and a nice groove in the verse of “Golden Empire” and there’s a really nice clean guitar intro to the title track, but none of those songs seem to go anywhere.

By far the weakest tracks here are “Box of Illusion,” a proggy, Dream Theater knock off, and “Breathe,” a more commercial brand of rock, reminding me heavily of U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name.”

After a promising opening, the disc meanders off into Who Cares Land. Much like Timo Kotipelto’s latest solo record, this one may be of interest to Angra fans who want to hear Falashi try some new things. Everyone else will probably be stuck on track 1.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Fred Phillips
August 10th, 2007

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