Almanac – Rush of Death

7/10

So, former Rage guitarist Victor Smolski is back with another album with his strangely named band, Almanac, mixing classic Heavy Metal with a hefty dose of pompous Power Metal. This is actually Almanacs third album, but for me this is a totally new acquaintance, and since Victor joined Rage long after I lost interest in that band, (honestly only caring for “Perfect Man”) he also is a totally new name to me.

With that said it doesn’t take long for Victor and his men, and woman, to prove to me that Heavy Metal is something they sure got a hold on. Actually, it’s just a short, but a bit cheesy intro away, until some killer riffs kicks of the first song, “Predator”, a really nice and energetic Heavy Metal-anthem with cool riffs, equilibrate guitar licks and a catchy refrain, that serves perfect as an album opener. The song is really varied with tons of different riffs and interludes that blend into each other without ever felling forced, or loosing the feel of being necessary for the song!

This is something that can be said for the whole album actually, as “Rush of Death” feels a bit like a smorgasboard of tasty Heavy Metal-ideas, creating powerful tunes that never tends to be boring. The verses often relies on stable classical Heavy Metal, mixed with some lighter Thrash-elements, some “Aggro/NU metal”-stuff and even some almost funky parts, whereas the refrains for most of the parts tend to lean to a bit more melodic Power Metal.

As a whole I find the mix quite tasteful but of course there are some minor flaws. The vocals are shared between Janette Marchewka and Patrick Shüll and where I find Patrick’s classic harsh Heavy Metal voice quite fitting, I’m not totally sold on Janette’s voice, although it sounds OK for most of the time (and actually Patrick is the more prominent of the two on the album). I really like most of the guitar stuff, as both riffs and solos, for most of the time, are top notch, although I could do without some of the “Aggro Metal”-stuff and even if most of the melodies work out fine, the Power Metal-stuff in the refrains sometimes tend to be a bit to sweet for my taste.

Even if this is pretty far from what I usually listen to I actually find Almanac’s “Rush of Death” to be a really nice album! If you are into Heavy Metal and don’t shy the sometimes overly melodic stuff, you’re really in for a treat here and after all, Heavy Metal is all about riffing and in between the pompous stuff and dramatic refrains, good riffs truly are something Almanac delivers!

Artist: Almanac
Title: Rush of Death
Label: Nuclear Blast
Date of release: 6/3-20
Playing time: 47:04
Rate: 7/10
Stand out track: Predator

Almanac – Rush of Death

March 3, 2020

Even if this is pretty far from what I usually listen to I actually find Almanac's “Rush of Death” to be a really nice album!

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