By Colonel Angus

Almah is back with their fifth release and I didn’t even know the band existed.  As the years progress, in my elder years, I find it difficult to follow all these bands and their off-shoots.  Mind you, that’s no excuse but it does set the stage for my review.  Since I know nothing about the band, this review is simply based on "E.V.O." and not a comparison to earlier works.  Based on the bio for this release, the album is a concept of sorts but really I don’t see it.  It really makes no difference because the songs matter more than some loosely based concept.  Queensryche’s "Operation Mindcrime" would be nothing if not for the well written and crafted tunes.  In my opinion, Almah have created half a record of quality songs with another half that just doesn’t cut it.  Upon first spin, I had such high hopes after the great opening track “Age of Aquarius”.  It seems the band set the bar so high that even they had trouble reaching it again.  This led to a disappointing first listen which usually doesn’t bode well for my reviews.  But, like all the disk that make it past my desk, I gave it a half dozen more spins.  With each additional play, something happened and I started to enjoy more and more of the tracks.  Songs like “Innocence”, “Final Warning”, and “Pleased to Meet You” started to invade my brain with their catchy riffs and melodic vocals.  "E.V.O." was a slow burner but at the end of the day it contained more cool tunes than just “Age of Aquarius”.  Having said that, I still find about half the record boring which is a shame because the other half is really, really good.

The band consists of Edu Falaschi on vocals and you may remember him from Angra.  The guitars are courtesy Marcelo Barbosa and Diogo Mafra and the band is rounded out by rhythm section Raphael (bass) and Pedro Tinello (drums).  While Falaschi is the “star” of the band, the other members certainly make their presence felt and it sounds more like a band and not a backing band.  As mentioned earlier, I really like half of "E.V.O." and unfortunately, I don’t think the other half will grow on me.  I will continue to listen to the good songs and hope that Almah’s next record is consistent throughout.