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Alpha Souls – Carousel of Emotions

Alpha Souls
Carousel of Emotions
by Leanne Evans at 24 March 2021, 8:44 AM

ALPHA SOULS is a predominantly Spanish melodic rock project created by guitarist Ricardo Walls and Hector Fontes (executive producer of the album), with the solid addition of Greek vocalist Manos Fatsis. The band wanted to create an album that packs a punch… and that, they do, with their debut album “Carousel of Emotions”. The quartet bring an uncompromising yet contemporary flavour to melodic hard rock, with flashes of 80’s clichés but a NWOCR feel. There’s full-frontal-swag, on-point slick sexiness with melodic vocals and groovy riffs and last, but not least, the wonderfully powerful obligatory guitar solos.

Kicking off, “Climb to the Top” ascends with murky guitars and build up of keyboard sounds with a forceful certitude. It’s muscular and chunky with fistfuls of hard rock power to boot, revving you up for “King of the Road”. ALPHA SOULS ramp up the power and tempo from 0-60 in the blink of an eye with the full throttle “King of the Road”; you can almost smell the burning rubber as the band drive through the high-octane infectious grooves. Everything about this track is high-energy, rousing and 2.58 makes way for a bloody superb solo from Ricardo… pretty much a whole 30 seconds’ worth of harmonious sliding sexiness! Manuel’s drumming is tub-thumping throughout, making everything pure adrenaline pumping. “King of the Road” is definitely one of the highlights of “Carousel of Emotions”.

“Silent Days” will be a marmite “love it or hate it” track – I personally love it. It’s fondly reminiscent of WHITESNAKE “Is this Love” in structure, especially the guitar lilt and drumbeat and the lyrical content staying to true to questioning love and its emptiness when it doesn’t go to plan. It’s pure, but sonically suggestively sultry and ALPHA SOULS unapologetically pull influence from WHITESNAKE, with Manos sounding uncannily like a richer-in-tone DAVID COVERDALE in parts of the album. “How Well You Think You Know Me”; the track kicks off with Ricardo’s sensational guitar action which screams YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, it really is THAT good! Manos has softness and sincerity in his vocals, giving way to a beautifully honeyed tone and effortless pitch that is perfect for this track. “Believe” follows seamlessly, yet takes the tempo up a notch, drawing inspiration from the 80’s hard rock influence of WHITESNAKE once again.

There are a couple of tracks on “Carousel of Emotions” that just don’t do it for me. “Where Your Heart Belongs” feels gimmicky and a bit too 80’s cheese and sickly-sweet for my liking, the sound almost befitting on a mediocre American sitcom. The obligatory key-change doesn’t help things later in the track, and the overall feel is quite dated. The lyrics are empty for a song that should convey sentiment, leaving everything falling flat with no opportunity for the listener to connect with what should be a pleasant piece. As a side note, though, the guitar work is faultless and kept me hanging on to the track just for the pleasure of Ricardo’s finger work. The same disconnect can be felt in “Bring it On”; the vocal harmony intro grated a little and the composition had a corny feel and didn’t endear me to it. Personally, the album would have benefitted from wrapping up on “Six Minutes to Heaven” which is a glorious piece and leads on nicely to talking about this stunning track and end on a positively passionate note about ALPHA SOULS.

“Six Minutes to Heaven” opens with a very glam feel, with a leaning towards WINGER meets WARRANT. When ALPHA SOULS get it right, maaaan, they nail it! The clinking of glasses at the beginning to set the scene, the guitar screams, the rugged drumming… damn, it’s the perfect filthy formula. Borja brings the bassline every bit of rawness you crave with absolute sizzling sexiness, everything is over-the-top and in-your-face, even down to the overt keyboard work. Lyrically, the track has an allure and a feel of “the chase” and you’re intoxicated from start to God damn finish. Another brilliantly infectious track from ALPHA SOULS.

Imagine the perfect easy-listening album to accompany you on an epic road trip, top rolled down, sun out, shades on, pedal to the floor… “Carousel of Emotions” is your must-have musical passenger! If you’re a fan of JOEL HOEKSTRA’S 13 hard rock project, or BLACK PAISLEY, you’ll LOVE ALPHA SOULS; these guys are joining the NWOCR genre with a bang! Their ability to focus on melodic sound, whilst serving up a few aggressive tracks and nailing the stand-out smooth sultry ballads, is spot-on. The production, writing and musicianship the band display feels like they’ve been at this for a long time and, whilst the album isn’t perfect - is there such thing as perfection?! - with a couple of slightly dated tracks, “Carousel of Emotions” is a sterling effort and a well-produced debut album rammed with catchy tunes. ALPHA SOULS have most certainly poured their hearts and souls into “Carousel of Emotions” and it absolutely shines!

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

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Climb to the Top
2. King of the Road
3. Live to the Full
4. Silent Days
5. Words Unspoken
6. Dreamer in the Night
7. Never-Ending
8. How Well You Think You Know Me
9. Believe
10.  Where Your Heart Belongs
11. The Turning
12. Six minutes to Heaven
13. Bring It On
Lineup:
Manos Fatsis - Vocals
Ricardo Walls – Guitars, Keyboard
Borja Lopez – Bass
Manuel Delgado – Drums
Record Label: ROCKCD Records
     


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Edited 01 August 2021
 

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