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Alarum Eventuality

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Alarum - Eventuality
01. Velocity
02. Sustained Connection
03. Lost Pleiad
04. Receiver
05. Remote Viewing
06. Inertial Grind
07. Cygnus X-1
08. Throughout The Moment
09. Woven Imbalance MP3
10. Boundless Intent Pt. 1
11. Boundless Intent Pt. 2
12. Subject To Change
13. Event Duality
14. Audio Synthesis
15. Reconditioned
2004 Willowtip Records

OUR SCORE
9
Reviewed by: Cory   //   Published: 1/22/2005

Anyone familiar with Willowtip Records output in the last few years has certainly come to expect technical death metal and grind releases of the highest quality from this relatively young label. It was with a bit of surprise then that I first listened to Alarum's Eventuality. This Australian quartet has taken the preconceived notions of how a metal band should write songs and thrown them out the window, seemingly incorporating whatever musical style or melody they could imagine. Sure, there's an awful lot of what could be described as "jazz" in there, but there were also funk beats and even a brief steel drum part.

While each of the songs on this disc has its own distinct feel and musical style, there is an overarching sensibility to the record that keeps it cohesive. Alarum understands the difficulty of what they're trying to pull off, and though they frequently approach the limit, they never cross the sometimes fuzzy boundary into "trying too hard" territory. I suppose if one were really some sort of metal purist they might not be able to appreciate some of what Alarum is doing here, but anyone with an open mind and a general knowledge of music will be in awe of Alarum's songwriting and musicianship.

Some readers are probably groaning at the thought of another band that claims to use lots of "parts," and most fans of complex metal have probably seen the word "jazz" thrown around as much as the word "brutal." While the description offered here might not seem particularly appealing to everyone, Alarum surpasses the ability of any band of this sort I've heard before by such immense leaps and bounds, they should ban all other bands from claiming to be "progressive." Any band that claims to be "technical" due to the incorporation of twenty-seven parts in each song should take notes from Alarum's musical success. They prove, in one album, that ridiculous speed and knowledge of scales are no match for inspiration and genuine songwriting ability.

Additionally, anyone looking for a so-called "metal" album may want to look elsewhere. While Alarum certainly utilizes frequent metal guitars, vocals and drumming, they don't often follow any sort of metal formula. Often the double bass will be matched by half-speed guitars or the more traditional riffs will be underscored by jazz or rock drumming instead of blastbeats. The fact that metal fans are the most obvious audience for Alarum springs more from their tolerance for the abrasive than their inclination to genuinely appreciate Eventuality.

The only element of Alarum's complete sound that doesn't always live up to expectations is the occasionally weak vocals. Mark Palfreyman's growls and screams could be a strong centerpiece to any contemporary metal band, but his melodic vocals aren't always as powerful. If there were one way Alarum could get even better, it would either be to add an additional vocalist or simply have Palfreyman develop his own voice a bit. Otherwise, Alarum have reached creative heights to which so many of their "technical" and "progressive" peers have aspired.

Bottom Line: Alarum's Eventuality was one of the unsung triumphs of 2004. It arrived with very little fanfare but will hopefully be mentioned alongside progressive classics like Cynic's Focus when the evolution of metal is studied years from now. Alarum's Eventuality is both a great listen and a potential landmark album. If you have a love of metal and an understanding of music, Eventuality will floor you.

Comments
Ron_   posted 5/10/2005 5:39:27 AM
I cant get into this f*cking garbage at all
HB_Dad_   posted 1/28/2005 9:08:13 PM
Amazing shit! I fully agree with this review, EXCEPT about the aspects of the vocals that are bad. I think the clean vocals are fine (except the dual layering of them at times), but the growls sound like ass. I agree with another repliers Metallica comment totally. His growls give the songs a wierd unwanted 80's vibe to the songs. I would prefer a more gruff death-metal/metalcore style vocal for the metal stuff along the lines of the vocalist on the new Bury Your Dead. That style may be ever-pre
jon_   posted 1/26/2005 9:00:41 PM
i don't see the complaints about the mix... everything is extremely clean, the only complaint i may have is the vocals are bit up front and there could be more guitars but its definitely a decent recording. they are one of the very few bands today playing this style and IMO the best at it since CYNIC. the album gets alot better the more you listen to it and get to know it. i personally really like the clean vocals, the cleans are done better than the other vocal style. top notch disc.
anonymous   posted 1/26/2005 5:16:25 PM
Don't have the cd, but i've heard some really good songs by this band. But I'll have to agree with everybody else; The music is really good, but the vocals need a lot of work. In my opinion, I think the vocals sound too much like Matallica's.
eljustin_   posted 1/25/2005 7:39:01 PM
great band

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