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Almora - Shehrazad 4.5/5

Reviewed: 11-5-04


1. Fantasy
2. Rainbow
3. Nightmare
4. 1001 nights
5. Shehrazad
6. Gunesin ozanlari
7. To live is to fight
8. Hold on to your dreams
9. Dream on

This is such a cool band! I can't emphasize enough how original their sound is. Musically, we get traditional power metal, but with a lot of folk elements similar to the band Cruachan (so imagine Cruachan in the power metal style). Lots of violins, flutes, etc., and as if that doesn't make them unique enough, they've got a female vocalist and an occasional male vocalist as well. The female vocals are most comparable to Sabine Edelsbacher of Edenbridge, while the male vocals are hard to compare. He doesn't sing with a lot of range, but he does bring even more variety to the band. The female vocals dominate the songs (thankfully), and make for a better and more interesting CD.

This is Almora's 3rd CD, and easily their most upbeat and exciting. There are so many cool guitar solos, sometimes dueling with violins or flutes, amazing! The songs are fun, enjoyable, and refreshing after a long day of European power metal. The entire CD is fantastic, so picking out a highlight is impossible, but the songs with the female vocalist (as opposed to the male vocalist) are definitely better. Track 7 "To live is to fight" is probably the best song with the male vocalist, while track 8 "Hold on to your dreams" is probably my least favorite with the male vocalist, and is maybe the song that keeps this CD from getting the perfect rating. Track 9 "Dream on" is an outstanding slower song with beautiful female vocals, highly memorable, and is a superb ending for the very short CD, clocking in at under 40 minutes.

With Almora having such a unique sound, they're certainly not going to be for everyone, so a quick listen before buying is a must. But they're fun, totally original, and a band that deserves to be heard. 10 years ago I would have never dreamed that there would be a band like this. A definite favorite of mine!




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