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Alda – A Distant Fire

Alda
A Distant Fire
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 09 November 2021, 6:29 AM

Originating from the forested hills of western Washington State, ALDA have crafted a distinct blend of Black Metal, Folk, and Post-Rock for over twelve years, releasing three full-length albums between 2009 and 2015. Throughout their existence, ALDA have maintained a stable lineup of the same four members. This stability has allowed the band to manage a singular focus in maintaining their established sound, while simultaneously developing and augmenting their music with each passing release. Their latest offering, "A Distant Fire,” contains six tracks.

“First Light” leads off the album. It is a short, acoustic opener with solemn yet pretty tones. As it rolls along, more instruments join in…cello perhaps? “Stonebreaker” enters with distorted guitars and harsh vocals. The sound is roughly Black Metal, but more refined and creative. Close to the half-way mark, the sounds shifts with a new riff. It swells and then drops to clean guitars towards the end. “Drawn Astray” begins with clean guitars and a jovial feeling, like stepping outside on the first warm day of spring and seeing the array of colors nature has offered you. A distorted riff rolls in and carries the feeling forward. Harsh vocals carry a more solemn message, but the melodies continue strong. Lead guitar notes break apart at the end, finishing with sad, clean tones.

“Forlorn Peaks” begins with harsher tones from the vocals and fast-picked guitars. A steady melody develops among the harsh tones, like a flower blooming in the bitter and bleak tundra of a frozen land. It swells and grows angrier in layers, ending with strength and vigor. “Loo-Wit” is a much shorter interlude that features sounds of a faraway forest glen, connecting to the beauty of the album cover. “A Distant Fire” closes the album; a sixteen-minute opus. Clean guitars open with a melancholy sound, along with clean vocals. Distorted guitars break in, along with commanding harsh vocals. Coming up on the half-way mark, the sounds slows to big, heavy accents. It slowly stars to build, and the drops like a hot potato towards the end, finishing on steady key notes and atmosphere.

The genre blending here is both smooth and steady. There are nearly equal parts of harsh and smooth tones, working together in a nice synergy, and one constant is the waxing and waning that occurs throughout the album. It allows you to feel the various emotions on the album more fully, and passages are marked with signs that lead you down a path into the woods so that you have a guide, but at times disappears so that you can experience more of the world around you. Take a journey with ALDA through “A Distant Fire” and find out what they have in store for you.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. First Light
2. Stonebreaker
3. Drawn Astray
4. Forlorn Peaks
5. Loo-Wit
6. A Distant Fire
Lineup:
Tim Brown – Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Vocals
Stephanie Bruton – Bass Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Cello, Vocals
Jace Bruton – Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Vocals
Michael Korchonnoff – Drums, Bodhran, Acoustic Guitar, Drones, Lead Vocals
Record Label: Eisenwald
     


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Edited 15 August 2022
 

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