Alley - _The Weed_
(BadMoodMan Music, 2008)
by: Quentin Kalis (6.5 out of 10)
It was inevitable that the active Russian and Ukrainian doom scene would sooner or later spawn their version of the increasingly popular progressive and melodic doom/death birthed by Opeth. This is their first recording; like many of their Eastern contemporaries, they appear to have eschewed demos or "independent EPs". Just don't assume that they only picked up a guitar for the first time last year. Also like most of their contemporaries, there is a focus on the heavier side, with frequent use of the double bass pedal. Acoustic passages are present but infrequent, as are vocals. Growls and clean vox are used, both sounding much like a certain Akerfeldt. The style is free-flowing yet varied, unconstrained by conventional song structures, getting longer as the album progresses, culminating in a fifteen minute closer. It's good, but with one major problem: this is really is just a Slavic take on Opeth circa _My Arms, Your Hearse_. As good as the performances are, _The Weed_ is just too derivative to warrant more than a 6.5. Alley will need a more individual sound if they wish to be known outside the CSIR states. The potential is there.


(article published 21/4/2009)

9/10/2014 C Drishner 7.5 Alley - Amphibious
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