Almanac – Tsar 2016 album review. 4.5 star rating.

almanac-tsar

Almanac

‘Tsar’

Almanac – Self-Blinded Eyes music video.

2016 release from Nuclear Blast.

David Readman – Vocals. Andy B. Franck – Vocals. Jeannette Marchewka – Vocals. Victor Smolski – Guitar. Armin Alic – Bass. Michael Kolar – Drums.  Enric Garcia – Keyboards and piano.

Artist location: Various.

4.5 out of 5 stars rating.

Reviewed by David.

  1. Tsar.
  2. Self-Blinded Eyes.
  3. Darkness.
  4. Hands Are Tied.
  5. Children Of The Future.
  6. No More Shadows.
  7. Nevermore.
  8. Reign Of Madness.
  9. Flames Of Fate.

 

Almanac is a new supergroup featuring a trio of great vocalists, Andy B. Franck  from BrainstormJeannette Marchewka  and the always outstanding David Readman from Pink Cream 69.

Then we have the musicians. Almanac mastermind Victor Smolski from the classic rock band Rage. Armin Alic, Michael Kolar and Enric Garcia. The talent gathered in this group of artists is incredible and they all shine on this record.

It is a rather progressive album, much more so then I typically listen to, and even has some hints of rock opera in it. But when I read that Readman was to be involved then it was a no brainer that I would be getting it as I am a very big fan of his.

The first track I heard from the record, ‘Self-Blinded Eyes’ (see the link at the top of the page to watch the music video), I really liked and so I was excited about hearing the rest of the album. It is admittedly not exactly what I was expecting, but it didn’t take me long to get into it and the songs presented here and really start enjoying it.

The album starts out with the hard hitting title track that is a loud and heavy song and it sets the pace nicely for the rest of the album as the band blasts their way through the nine tracks which include eight rockers and one short instrumental.

As I stated, I am a huge fan of David Readman and all of his work, and he sounds fantastic on this record as he always does. His incredible voice does not seem to have aged much in the past 20 years and he is still able to hit the higher register notes with ease.

Brainstorm is, quite honestly, a band that has always been a little too out there for my particular taste as I tend to lean much more towards the melodic rock side of the music then the metal and progressive side, but I have always liked Andy B. Franck’s voice, and he sounds absolutely great on these songs.

I had never heard of Jeannette Marchewka prior to this release but she has an excellent voice and she definitely holds her own next to the two heavyweights she is cast beside on the record.

The three voices mix extremely well and they all sound great together as they blend their voices throughout the album on each track. Readman and Franck handle most of the solo vocals though Marchewka has her shinning solo moments also.

I have only only one complaint with the album and that is the length. Coming in at just 9 tracks, with one of those being a one minute and eighteen second instrumental intro, it seems a bit too short to me, though most of the songs are over six minutes in length with one passing the eight minute mark.

All of the songs are excellent save one, ‘Reign Of Madness’, which I had a difficult time getting in to personally. With that being said, Smolski has delivered his best album to date in my opinion, and he did a superb job on this record.

This album will not be for everyone. It is not your standard fare melodic rock album by any means, though there some definite melodic influences present. But if you are a fan of progressive rock then this will likely be right up your alley, and if you are not then still give it a try, you may be in for a surprise hit like I was.

Fans of Readman, Franck, Smolski and progressive rock will enjoy this one. A great album with excellent songs, outstanding vocals, some truly gifted musicians and some great guitar work combine to make this a fantastic progressive record. Hopefully this won’t be the only album we get from these guys.

 

Standout Tracks:

 

‘Tsar’.

‘Self-Blinded Eyes’.

‘Hands Are Tied’.

‘Children Of The Future’.

‘No More Shadows’.

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