Almora - 1945 3.5/5

Reviewed: 4-14-06


1. Angels prelude
2. Sea angels
3. 1945 (Turkish)
4. Isik ver bana
5. Iron nation
6. Golden era
7. Hands of destiny
8. The hangman
9. Kaf daginin ardinda
10. 1945 (English

I absolutely love it when a metal band tries something unique and entertaining. Almora from Turkey do just that by combining classic metal melodies with folk and international harmonies. There are 2 main vocalists and several contributing musicians. The female sopranist Nihan is just so eloquent and she sings so well both in her native tongue and in English. The male tenors have such incredible range and pitch. Even if the songs don't always translate well into English, their pronunciation is remarkable. I also admire how the band always keeps a few songs in their own personal lingual mindset. Sadly, I don't know their language and find myself hard pressed to translate. This leaves me humming and whistling these enchanted Byzantian epics.

This is another awesome factor of Almora's style since they write in such an uplifting manner with words which just penetrate the soul. Given that the ancient city of Troy became Constantinople, these Anatoilians have not lost their ancestral echo for the ancient orient. Every song in English has powerful positive lyrics. The track "Sea of angels" is pure magnificience. There are adequate flute and violin arrangements and evocative choirs followed by a mellifluent female chirping like regimen akin to a nightingale . The chorus: "Realize your worth of life and worth of dreams..." just sends chills down my spine. This affirmation of ..."Angels in your heart..." from a "Sea of angels" is pure and serendipitous. It's as if Almora were transposed in the heavenly, spiritual realms while receiving inspirations and cantations from the devic entities.

Another canticle which just sends me spiralling is "Golden era" which refers to the "...Hero in our hearts." It's celestial words like these and ornamental arabesques which just endorse the ascetic and purlieus faculties for Almora. The upbeat tempo and sing-a-long choruses just emphasize their predilection for true mettle. The song "Iron nation" is a Maidenesque rock anthem which even alludes to the eagleheart in us all.

Altogether, the music packs quite a punch even if it's not always in the common vernacular. True metal transcends the boundaries and limits of language and leaves an indelible stigmata on our mettle hearts. The only real downside to this superb release is threefold: 1) The running time is just over 36 minutes. This is almost 10 minutes shorter than their last brilliant outing 'Shehrazad'. 2) The one male vocalist sings with such aplomb that his vocal range may slightly irritate the common metal enthusiast. When he reaches the high octive on tracks like 'The hangman', this gesticulation is just too over the top. 3) The title track "1945" is presented in both English & Turkish. This is a bonus, since you can compare the 2 songs and pehaps learn a few turkish words. I always love to learn new and ancient languages. My frustration derives from the enigmatic and ambiguous song title. What is the true rendering of 1945? Is it a momentous date referring to some critical event pertaining to World War II? It must have some significant importance to the brothers Canozer who write all the music. The music is obviously very personal as another Turkish track on the CD is dedicated to the guitarist's father. Unfortunately, I just don't know what 1945 essentially means. The overarching theme of the song deals with heartbreak and loss; whereas the musical and vocal performance is landmark and traditional.

So if you are searching for a band who elevate metal to the next level, and you crave bands like Therion, Nightwish, Knight Errant, Elvenking, and especially older Skyclad, then follow the Turkish King back east to the Black Sea and home of the alluring Almora.




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