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Altair - Descending- A Devilish Comedy

Descending- A Devilish Comedy
by Stew Metallion Taylor at 19 September 2017, 1:24 PM

Italian Power-Prog Metallers ALTAIR release second album “Descending- A Devilish Comedy”, a concept album described by the band as “a concept that runs through the circles of hell, which exist only in our minds, where all the fears, vices, virtues and the dark side of the human kind are showed in the form of a theatre comedy”. Italian Metal bands seem to like this format of a story telling journey. But unlike some that become too concept or theatre themed, this album is straight ahead Metal. There are no story telling interludes or overly “Proggy” breaks in proceedings. It seems that keyboards are becoming a part of most Metal line-ups now and done well, keyboards add a lot to the sound of a band. ALTAIR do this just right. They have not sacrificed heaviness but allowed the keyboards to embellish the dramatic sounds and the guitars perfectly. Let’s say this has the edge of MEGADETH in the sound rather than some of the more Melodic Power-Prog.

The album opens with instrumental “Descending” which begins as just keyboards. When the guitars come in you can tell there is an edge to the riffing and this is going to be a heavy style. Next up “Path of Worms” starts with fast double kick drumming setting a fast pace for the album which continues across the tracks. “Frozen Graves” starts with an old school Thrash style riff and then becomes more layered with the keyboards. The “Thrash” riff comes back in and this is a great track with drums driving the song on at some pace. Great soloing on the guitars too. A real twin guitar attack. “A Lesson Before Ascending” is a stand out song. This is a real riff/ solo intro before breaking down in to an ascending keyboard break and the vocals. A bit of an epic track with a Kashmir (LED ZEP) feel in parts.

“Seed of Violence” shreds. The guitar interplay is excellent with two genuine lead guitarists in the band. The rhythm section is pummeling and this makes for great Power Metal track. The song does finish on a classical piano out-take though which adds in character. The keyboards overall on this album are just right. “Flame of Knowledge” is another shredding track. The guitars are awesome on this. This reminds me of MEGADETH again in the delivery of the guitar playing which makes for a superb Metal sound.

People might think of ALTAIR as part DREAM THEATER past BLIND GUARDIAN with this sound but those are reference points as this stands alone as a very original set of tunes. For anyone who likes a fast-paced technical sound with heavy rhythm and clean vocals this will not disappoint This is modern Heavy Metal with a touch of Prog played with Power. Excellent stuff.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Descending
2. Path of Worms
3. Limbo
4. Seven
5. Godless
6. Seed of Violence
7. Flame of Knowledge
8. Frozen Graves
9. A Lesson Before Ascending
Simone Mala - Lead Vocal
Luca Scalabrin - Bass & Vocal
Gianmarco Bambini - Lead Guitar
Albert Marshall - Lead Guitar
Enrico Ditta - Keyboards
Simone Caparrucci - Drums
Record Label: Sleaszy Rider Records


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Edited 25 September 2018

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