Alaric - Alaric
Talk about a whiplash of emotions! Just listening to "Eyes," the opener on the debut by Oakland's Alaric, you might start to get scared that you are listening to an 80s hair band-until they switch gears and sound like off-kilter, Amon Duul II-esque metal. Then the song runs out astride heavy satisfying guitars. Clearly Alaric will be difficult to pigeonhole.
Strong on melody, with enough crunch and touches of goth and industrial grit to keep things rolling, Alaric nevertheless wear their heroes' sounds (and, sometimes, ideas) on their sleeves. "Ugly Crowds" and "Your God" would fit nicely on any Killing Joke or Saxon record, but maybe not the best ones. Now, on "Alone" and "Tribute," the band delivers a signature sound: heavy on the reverb guitars, gorilla drums, and surely scowling angry vocals. Some prog mixed in, but it is here the band hit a stride that harkens back to that chaotic middle section of "Eyes." This band belongs in a noisy morass of uncharted waters, because it seems to work best when it cuts loose from its Accept-meets-Skinny Puppy attempts.
You can't blame the band, as it is made up of former members of UK Subs, Cross-Stitched Eyes and Noothgrush. Still, for a peek at what Alaric are really capable of, skip the 80s limp prog mush of the closer, "Shadows of Life," and sit for repeat listens to the penultimate track. "Animal" is gritty, risky and it rocks with invention and inspiration.
"Alaric," both band and debut of the same name, is a mixed bag of old school retreads and truly daring skronk. It seems there are a few veteran rockers in the band, so let's hope they have an ear for their own strengths.
User Reviews and CommentsLog In or Register to Rate Albums
Tell us why this album is great or sucks ass, or correct the reviewer. If you write enough quality reviews you may find yourself on the editorial staff.
Reviews have to be over 100 words, shorter ones are classed as comments.
on 2011-10-06 buriedinhell Said:
This LP rules, but it's not out yet...For now, you can get the debut Alaric "Self Titled" Seven Inch Vinyl at http://www.buriedinhell.com for just $4.99 USD. A couple limited edition white vinyls are still available. Get 'em while we got 'em! Only 500 pressed!