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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

by Cory

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 (23) post new comment
fuk_ 1/22/2005 1:03:12 PM

I'm all over this shit today.

ChemicallyImbalancedSloth_ 1/22/2005 1:14:23 PM

awesome album.

anonymous 1/22/2005 1:36:04 PM

good cd

dutchstep_ 1/22/2005 2:01:28 PM

good review. musically the band rules, but the vocals are so terrible i find myself deterred from this band.

dutchstep_ 1/22/2005 2:01:53 PM

da turd***

willxcore_ 1/22/2005 4:45:20 PM

i'm not even gonna bother reading the review, it got a 9 so i decided to listen to the mp3.. and it sucks.. end of story

carexinxslaughter_ 1/22/2005 7:02:57 PM

^ i hate to say but he's right...

ghetto_paul_ 1/22/2005 7:11:28 PM

I don't like this band at all. Not even a little bit.

willxcore is a fruit_ 1/22/2005 8:32:42 PM

i just have to remind everyone that willxcore is a f*cking gay

SeveredInTwo_ 1/22/2005 9:21:00 PM

^ hahahahaha

anonymous 1/22/2005 10:05:41 PM

you opinions are wrong

TheWood_ 1/23/2005 2:38:08 AM

Good God! Cut the vocalist...or at the very least, tell him to cut the clean vocals. Other than that, I cannot complain. This band has musical chops to spare.

ThatHxCGuy_ 1/23/2005 9:03:10 AM

The music is fantastic. My only real complaint...The Vocals. They sound out of place and unoriginal. The music is honesly good enough, they could go the way of the vocalless, and do amazing.

no_cool_names_left_ 1/23/2005 2:37:01 PM

yeah the vocals suck. I also think these dudes would be a lot better with decent production. this album sounds like hell.

tanner_ 1/23/2005 3:50:06 PM

awesome musically, vocals would take alot to get used to....i personally like Extol's Undecieved album, and maybe even the newest Synergy over this cd for that kind of style.

LifetoLifeless_ 1/23/2005 5:02:17 PM

Like many others mentioned, good music, bad vocals. I could never listen to this for an extended period because the vocals are so bad.

acornfallace_ 1/24/2005 9:58:16 AM

amazing instrumentals..... vocals could be better

Connoisseur_ 1/25/2005 3:03:31 AM

Somewhat interesting musicaianship, and definite points for ambition. The recording However does not live up. The instrument mix sounds rough and and the vocals sound like they were recorded direct onto a PC, and it comes off as amature-ish. This; "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."" Is a Rook ass, thing to say.

eljustin_ 1/25/2005 7:39:01 PM

great band

anonymous 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.

jon_ 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.

HB_Dad_ 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

Ron_ 5/10/2005 5:39:27 AM

I cant get into this f*cking garbage at all