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AlogiA - Semendria Award winner

AlogiA - Semendria
AlogiA - Semendria
by Robert Amer at 18 June 2020, 12:01 PM

Power metal veterans ALOGIA put forth a strong sixth studio release in “Semendria”. The album is filled with prog-power anthems with memorable melodies sung by a quartet of stellar vocalists—frontman Nikola Mijić and three guests. Great vocals: check. Energetic and powerful arrangements: check. Supportive and appealing instrumental sections: check. This album displays all the musical craftsmanship the band has refined over two decades.

The self-titled track opens the album with all the makings of an impressionable introduction with guest vocals by Mark Boals. This track also acquaints the listener with some overarching elements of the band’s sound throughout the album: complementary and involved guitars diverging from the stock patterns of the genre, inventive instrumental breaks, and memorable choruses. The final instrumental section with middle eastern hues is well-executed without seeming abruptly inserted, as can often be the case in the genre. “Eternal Fight” is a more conventional track in structure, but it is still a compelling listen. Mijić’s smooth voice and ex-JUDAS PRIEST vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens’s brazen delivery creates a nice contrast; the melodies are well-suited for both, but Owens really shines in this one. The heart of the album has a succession of three particularly strong tracks beginning with “Can’t Bring You Down”. “The Calling” is in the running for the album’s best track. Short and sweet, it is well paced; it features a QUEENSRŸCHE-esque verse, a galvanizing pre-chorus, a chorus that goes in an unexpected, but aesthetically-pleasing direction, and an ethereal guitar solo. What follows is another top contender for the best track, “Visantia”. Fabio Lione gives an impressive performance and volleys the vocal duties with Mijić throughout. The final chorus is preceded by the best instrumental section of the album, a section that builds with middle eastern instruments until the core of the band adeptly drives it home. The last two tracks, “Beyond Belief” and “From East To West,” close the album strongly; both remain largely in the middle eastern modalities while the second goes west towards the end with its departures into jazz and hints of classical gestures to honor the title.

While some tracks stand apart from others in “Semendria,” the album as a whole is a solid release lacking weak and ineffective songs. The recordings are crisp and the ensemble is tight in their tasteful virtuosic embellishments; top-rate musicianship abounds. ALOGIA will be an ideal addition to a festival lineup or a power metal tour once such gatherings will be possible. Many tracks on this album will make fantastic first impressions in a live setting.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Semendria ft. Mark Boals
2. Eternal Fight ft. Tim “Ripper” Owens
3. Raise Your Fist (For Metal Unity)
4. Like a Fire (Electrified)
5. Can’t Bring You Down
6. The Calling
7. Visantia ft. Fabio Lione
8. Beyond Belief
9. From East to West
Lineup:
Nikola Mijić - vocals
Srđan Branković - guitar, bass
Miroslav Branković - guitar
Mladen Gošić - keys
Marko Milojević - drums
Nevena Brankovic - keys, background vocals
Mark Boals - guest vocals on “Semendria”
Tim “Ripper” Owens - guest vocals on “Eternal Fight”
Fabio Lione - guest vocals on “Visantia”
Record Label: Elevate Records
     


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Edited 17 October 2021
 

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