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February 1 2005
Alarum - Eventuality...
Pure brilliance that is well worth the wait
It’s been a long time between releases for Aussie technical prog-death metallers Alarum. In fact, it’s been over five years since they unleashed their debut Fluid Motion in 1999. Three years after that, their 2002 Promo gave us a taste of things to come which would result in the aptly titled Eventuality – 15 tracks of outstanding musicianship and dynamic tech metal that should launch Alarum to the forefront of the Australian metal scene.
If you haven’t heard Alarum before, then allow me to introduce you to some of their influences – Cynic, Atheist, Pestilence, VoiVod and Watchtower. Now you should have a bit more of an idea as to what you can expect. Still confused? Those names mentioned are not ringing any real bells of familiarity? Well, how about this?
Eventuality is chock full to the brim of frantic and over the top jazz-fused riffs and bass lines along with dynamic and effective drum fills and rolls and vocals that flick schizophrenically between melody and growl. It may sound difficult to get your head around, and some of the subtle and not so subtle dynamic changes will leave you astounded at just how fucking good these guys are.
Take the time to listen to songs like Velocity and Sustained Connection. Digest the time changes and the seamless transition between styles. The very Eastern sounding Lost Pleaid provides an effective change of pace before the very VoiVod sounding Receiver which still manages to contain some of those previously established Eastern sounds. The smooth sounds of first minute and a bit of Remote Viewing really leave you wondering if you’re still listening to a metal band at all until it kicks in and features some almost Joe Satriani like solos throughout.
In a complete change of pace, Inertial Grind opens with a grind feel before settling the pace back down and opening up the dynamics of the song a little more before being followed up by the instrumental piece Cygnus X-1. Throughout The Moment mixes up the best elements of Alarum’s style - musical brilliance, time and style changes, and some cool dynamics and guitar solos. Woven Imbalance continues the display of musical proficiency and is straight out of the book of tech metal courtesy of VoiVod and Watchtower.
Boundless Intent Part 1 is another ambient type instrumental that gives the album some much needed breathing space before the chaotic Boundless Intent Part 2 fires up and takes the listener through many musical styles and influences. If you removed the vocals from Subject To Change, you’d swear it was a Joe Satriani song for much of its three and a half minutes. Event Duality returns to a more straight forward metal formula overall but still manages to throw a few curveballs out the speakers. Audio Synthesis is probably the only instrumental that doesn’t offer a lot to the album, but at only a minute or so in length, it’s no big deal either way. Reconditioned rounds off an amazing journey through numerous metal styles and musical influences all of which have been flawlessly connected on this album.
What can I say at this point that I haven’t already said? Eventuality is an incredible album of musical ability that cannot be challenged, brilliant song writing that allows the musical talents of each member to shine through both individually and as a group and an even better showcase of the calibre of metal bands down under. Simply awesome!
(Quadrum Records/M.G.M. Distribution)
Added: April 27th 2005
Reviewer: Simon Milburn
Related Link: Official Website
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