Almagest - Almagest

Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2012

This is a four-track EP (two songs, an intro and an outro - roughly 13 minutes of total playing time) so getting your head around where these guys are going is a bit tough. Things get off to a slow start right away. I don’t know why bands do this, but there was at least thirty seconds of dead silence before the intro became audible. Worse, the intro didn’t seem to go anywhere even after you could start hearing the Ambient effects. Given the “spacey” nature of the intro and outro, I guess that there is some “cosmic” theme going through their songs. Musically, this band is atmospheric Doom/Death Metal in the vein of Thergothon or maybe Chorus of Ruin (how’s that for an obscure reference…). They have the ability to create some atmospheric music, that’s for sure. What really hinders them is the rather uneven songwriting. The first actual song, “En Void,” goes off without a hitch. Everything sounds okay. The guitars could have been a little heavier or a bit louder, but in general the sound was fine as far as being able to hear everything. The other song, “Syntaxis Ecliptica,” starts off with fast and furious drumming, which is always a bad thing for a band like this. Their style is slow, not fast. Worse, the drumming drowns out everything else. Once the song gets going, though, things are better and the sound improves to the point where we’re almost at the same level as the first song in terms of clarity. Why they decided to have the drumming be so intense for the first minute or so of “Syntaxis Ecliptica” is a mystery. It doesn’t fit the band’s style and it doesn’t do anything for the song. It seems so out of place that it just leaves you wondering what they were thinking. To me, that’s a clear sign that a band isn’t ready for the big leagues. They have the right idea for the most part, but there are still some areas that need to be worked on. Almagest has the potential to be great. When I researched the band, I found that this was their first release. For a debut, this isn’t bad. The songwriting needs to improve, but it isn’t something that can’t be fixed. I’d recommend a lot more rehearsal time and definitely some peer review before releasing anything else.

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