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Alkemyst - Through painful lanes 3.5/5

Reviewed: 7-25-08


1. The beast within
2. Another you
3. When the morning comes
4. Enter the carnival
5. Restless show
6. Everlasting farewells
7. The grand illusion
8. Through painful lanes
9. Eagle fly free

It's been 5 years since French band Alkemyst released their debut 'Meeting in the mist', and we finally get their 2nd CD 'Through painful lanes'. Thankfully, the band hasn't changed their style since the debut, that being power metal with a progressive side and the label progressive power metal can certainly apply. It's difficult to provide a direct band comparison however, as sometimes I'm reminded of Brazilian power metal bands like Angra, Glory Opera and Endless (with a slight progressive edge), other times I'm reminded of Italian power metal bands like Sigma, Projecto, Secret Sphere, Morgana, Highlord, Shining Fury and Heavenblast (also with a slight progressive edge), and occasionally I'm reminded of progressive power metal bands like DGM, Elegacy and Manigance.

Although Alkemyst is from France, their vocalist (Roberto "Ramon" Messina) is Italian. In fact, he's the vocalist of Secret Sphere and was also the vocalist on Hemisphere's one and only CD from 2001 called 'Mind's door'. I even think he was once a part of the band Highlord, though he was not the actual vocalist on any of their CDs. So Roberto has a lot of experience, but he also has a very solid voice, especially for those who enjoy Italian power metal vocalists.

One thing I like a lot about 'Through painful lanes' is that there are a lot of fast songs, but the band also offers up some nice slow songs, even with acoustic parts. Rarely do we get some mid-paced moments, and although the fast songs greatly dominate, I've found the bouncing back and forth from slow to fast to be really successful. This was the case with their debut as well though, so if you enjoy the overall tempo of that CD, you'll be very pleased with this CD too. I must say the band sounds a bit more mature with this CD, but I'm not sure which of their CDs is the best. They're probably equal, and since the debut was already great, that's completely fine in my mind.

Even though there are only 9 tracks on 'Through painful lanes', the songs are of more than decent length, so we get a normal running time. Track 9 "Eagle fly free" is a Helloween cover of course, and it's pretty good, but I think I prefer Vision Divine's version which is found on 'The keepers of Jericho l/A tribute to Helloween'. My favorite song is track 5 "Restless show", as it's the most memorable, but this is one of those CDs that contains a consistent quality. So if you have and enjoy the debut, surely pick this up right away, and if you haven't heard the band before but are familiar with some of the bands mentioned in this review, I definitely recommend checking out both of Alkemyst's CDs.




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