Album Reviews

Almanac – Rush Of Death Review

Released by Nuclear Blast Records

Release Date: March 6th,2020

Genre: Heavy Metal, Power Metal

 

Line-up:

Victor Smolski – Guitars, Keyboards

Patrick Sühl -Vocals

Jeannette Marchewka – Vocals

Tim Rashid – Bass

Kevin Kott -Drums

 

Tracklist:

1. Predator

2. Rush Of Death

3. Let The Show Begin

4. Soiled Existence

5. Bought And Sold

6. The Human Essence

7. Satisfied

8. Blink Of An Eye

9. Can’t Hold Me Back

10. Like A Machine

 

 

“Rush Of Death” is the third album of Almanac, the project formed in 2015 by Victor Smolski after his departure from Rage, as a continuation of his work with the Lingua Mortis Orchestra. Smolski is known for being a wonderful guitarist, a multi-instrumentalist, a composer and a producer, but also a talented racing driver. The guitar wizard from Belarus is famous for his work on pairing heavy metal and classical music perfectly.

The new release of Almanac follows their debut “Tsar” of 2016 and “Kingslayer” of 2017, where the themes of the songs were concentrated on Russian History. This time, the band has changed direction towards Roman Times, Gladiators and speed racing. The band has also taken the path of a heavier sound due to the lineup changes that have been made in occasion of this new studio effort: bellower Frank Beck and growler Marcel Junk have given some extreme metal moments in addition to vocalists Patrick Sühl and Jeannette Marchewka, bass player Tim Rashid, and drummer Kevin Kott.

The album kicks off with “Predator” which itself starts with the shout “drivers start your engines” and the reviving sound of them. The melodic thrash guitar riffs and the punchy vocals are dominated by the devastating rhythm of the drums. This tune gives the right dynamism to the record from the start. The title track that follows keeps up the speedy mood: the intro with the bass line which falls into a heavy riff and a groove style at the beginning, before getting into a powerful chorus with excellent vocal parts. The amazing drum session in combination with a crunchy instrumental part and a memorable guitar solo offer one of the nicest moments in “Rush Of Death”.

The mid-section is dedicated to “Suite Lingua Mortis Part 2”, a direct sequel to the metal-meets-orchestra spectacle found on Rage’s “Speak of the Devil”. Almanac goes all in with the Inspector Symphony Orchestra and the Ensemble Virtuoso and manages to pull off such a direct and organic sound. “Let The Show Begin” is an interlude, a short speech with a background of epic symphonic melodies, which brings up the brilliant “Soiled Existence”: an intro of massive riffs accompanied by orchestral music and growled backing vocals lead to a catchy chorus with a clever beat and high range singing parts. This amazing attempt to enhance the quality of this track by using symphonic sections behind the heavy melodies gives a very satisfying and fulfilling sensation to the listener. Moreover, “Bought And Sold” comes with an impressive drumming intro, but it gives back the thrashy mood to the album. It’s composed of solid riffs and a fast-paced verse followed by an outstanding screaming guitar solo. This song ends up directly to the interlude “The Human Essence” which closes this chapter of the record dedicated to Roman History.

The final section starts with the longest track “Satisfied” where a dark riff falls into a dynamic chorus enriched with symphonic elements. An acoustic verse with whispered vocals ends up in an emotional guitar solo. “Satisfied” could be defined as the most creative and high-quality-tune on the record, which leads to “Blink Of An Eye”, a song with a groove sound and a progressive instrumental section. “Can’t Hold me Back” with its solid drum parts and guitar work brings to the final track “Like A Machine”. The acoustic intro with the alternation of male and female vocals leads to the powerful main riff and the emotional epic chorus, a groove huge solo and a kind of Latin guitar melody at the bridge. This tune gives the perfect ending to the album with a variety of elements all harmonically bound together and fades into an acoustic ending part.

Rush of Death” is the heaviest Almanac album yet; it’s also the most contemporary. After a stint in Russian history and his hymns on murdered kings, Smolski is turning to the gladiators: The orchestrally driven mid-part is all about Ancient Rome’s fabled fighters, the rest of the songs about racing drivers. Few artists have left their mark upon the pairing of an electric guitar and orchestra quite like Victor Smolski. Smolski boldly established Almanac as a rising metal force and “Rush Of Death” has all the necessary means for what will be a very exciting heavy metal year for them.

 

Ratings: 8/10

Written by: Katerina Paisoglou

My Global Mind – Staff Writer

 

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