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Alpha Bootis - Jump to Alpha Bootis

Alpha Bootis
Jump to Alpha Bootis
by Ian Yera at 21 November 2021, 5:43 PM

This has to be one of the most creatively interesting bands I’ve come across in a while. Entirely imagined and designed by Frak and Ozymandias (no I cannot find their actual names), ALPHA BOOTIS is a Heavy Metal Synthwave band(?) from Montreal, with a distinct focus on sci-fi themes and sounds. Before I get too much into the music I want to talk about the concept because it is wild and I am here for it. Okay it’s not THAT wild, it’s a typical story of Humanity’s first colony ship flying off into the void, excited and eager to expand humanity beyond the confines of Earth. Plot twist incoming; A N T S. An entire colony of Ants, queen and all have snuck aboard the ship in the supplies and there’s lyrics to this, nor does the plot summary elaborate much, I like to believe that the story itself is about ants surviving in space and creating their own new colony on whatever planet these colonists are traveling to. Honestly I think that’s my favorite part of all of this, subversion of tropes is always welcome and Ants traveling in outer space is about as unique a sci-fi story as I’ve ever heard.

Now to talk about the music. I want to be up front about it and I’m putting it as bluntly as possible; the heavy metal sections of this album are by far the least interesting aspect of the music, I mean it barely qualifies as metal to me and it’s just boring. There’s hardly any riffs and anytime this album takes focus away from the synth it just really loses me. Generic isn’t a term I use lightly, but it’s the only way to describe their approach to “heavy metal”. Now on the other hand, being somewhat of a fan of Synthwave, I absolutely love the synth patches they use here, not to mention the Saxophone which is definitely underused. What makes this album work for me is the atmosphere, they create a really fun and spacey atmosphere that helps make some lackluster songwriting come alive. For a self released album it sounds pretty good, and it definitely helps having a real Saxophone instead of a synth patch. If I had a criticism for the sound and atmosphere it might be that they don’t embrace the absurdity of the concept in the music. It’s like how with video games you want the story and gameplay to integrate and reflect one another, in music the concept and the music should reflect each other and I guess I went in expecting it to be a little more silly. It almost comes off as more of a fever dream with some groovy synth laden disco sections throughout and some really good melodic hooks, but at the same time it plods along more than I would like and it just seems like the music should be more eclectic, but that’s personal taste and expectations talking.

Jump to Alpha Bootis is a fun little EP, and if you like synthwave I would definitely recommend this band, however don’t go into this expecting heavy metal, you will be sorely disappointed. The mix kind of lets down the music too, it’s not bad or anything, I just feel like some instruments (especially the saxophone) are way too dry. They really could have spent a little more time with the mix and made this feel a lot smoother. The saxophone just feels detached from the rest of the music and while the rest of it sounds good, the mix doesn’t add any depth to the proceedings. I think these guys are a neat experiment and I’ll definitely check out their next LP.

Songwriting: 7/10
Musicianship: 7/10
Memorability: 7/10
Production: 6/10

3 Star Rating

1. Jump to Alpha Bootis
2. Ecumenopolis
3. Wormhole Gas Bar
4. Serpens Nebula
5. Circling the Belt of Orion
6. Another World (Gojira Cover)
Music by Frak & Ozymandias
Except Track 06
Words & Music by Joseph & Mario Duplantier

Ozymandias - Guitars & sound design
Votson - Bass
Krogorlon - Saxophone
Harakoa - Synthesizers
Jotunbot - Drums
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 29 May 2022

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