Alrakis
Alpha Eri


3.5
great

Review

by DarkNoctus CONTRIBUTOR (40 Reviews)
June 13th, 2012 | 28 replies | 3,871 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: spacey, cold and beautiful.

It's not an enigma as to why space and black metal go together very well. The cold, cosmic and sometimes chaotic nature of space itself lends itself perfectly to black metal's instrumentation. When done right it's a real treat - the German Trist, Darkspace and Sun of the Blind to name a handful of truly excellent bands with equally excellent offerings. Though unfortunately I'd be hard pressed to name many more, despite it being an obvious winning formula, there's quite a lack of it, which no doubt contributes to why the aforementioned bands are held so highly in respective circles. But it's probably best if I keep mention of those bands to somewhat of a minimum due to the nature of Alrakis' music. Indeed, the cosmic element that creates a space-like aura over the aforementioned bands is here and in full swing, but Alrakis takes quite a different approach to it, and it's a refreshing change. Despite the obvious black metal influence and execution behind this album, you'd have better luck finding a blastbeat in a Fleet Foxes record. Put off? Don't be. What you get out of this record might just depend on exactly what you want out of it. If you go in hoping for a varied, chaotic black metal record you probably will leave this album wondering where the rest of it was and why only the slower tracks seemed to make the final cut.

Indeed, Alrakis goes for the almost depressive-suicidal black metal approach. The sparse reverb-laden drumbeats with the ringing tremolo riffs ala Summoning floating above them, with some subtle synths accompanying the guitarwork. This eats up a fair majority of the album. There's rather little variation between that and the (excellent) airy, cold ambient sections. Not to mention two of the longest tracks on this album are wholly ambient, a whole 25 minutes worth reserved for the quiet, soothing synths with occasional samples. Nothing feels out of balance in this mix though, because at its heart, Alpha Eri is far from a black metal album - it could even be thought of as an ambient album due to its complete and utter focus on nothing but the atmosphere. I've no doubt if it weren't for the powerful screams of the vocalist and multi-instrumentalist behind the project that people would wonder if this is black metal at all. The vocals and the production being the only things that cover this album in the unmistakable sound of black metal. Everything here sounds incredibly dark and incredibly fuzzy, but there's nothing offputting about this production style for outsiders, so those looking in with no experience won't be put off. The actual sound displayed here couldn't be any simpler - the formula of each of the metal tracks is very similar, the album staying at the same slow pace throughout its entirety. Slowly played, over-driven distorted riffs with the lovely synths floating beneath them, often being absolutely beautiful and incredibly immersible, the screams ringing above them. The linearity behind this album is beyond obvious, almost coming across as a niche product designed for those who have an affinity for the aforementioned bands - but this isn't a bad thing provided it's not taken as anything but that.

The lack of variation may bother some but this is the beauty of the record - this album inhabits one atmosphere, and it takes you through a thorough journey through that atmosphere, and it's a very lovely one that doesn't need changing. Alrakis knows that if he deviates from the original theme he may ruin the idea behind the record, which is an enjoyable and fairly unique black metal album that inhabits an aura that is sadly not capitalized on as much as it should, which makes this album a success. It helps immensely that this album's atmosphere isn't the only beautiful thing about it, the riffs themselves are wonderfully sorrowful and airy, perfectly complimenting everything else and all the while being memorable and immersive. If you go into this for an airy journey through space there really is nothing here that could disappoint you, a perfect, if unambitious, rendition of a beautiful atmosphere that many people wanted more of. For those of us who fall into that camp, here it is. Turn off the light, open the window, lay back and soar through the monochrome.

Bring a coat though, it's cold out there. :]



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user ratings (28)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
June 13th 2012



8780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

thought i'd give this a quick right up, quite excited about this :]

this is a 3.75, the linearity of this album prevents me from giving it any higher but the enjoyability factor of this album really can't be ignored. if you love space black metal, you will adore this. [:

CaptainDooRight
June 13th 2012



28864 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cool. Gonna read your review tomm in the morning but this looks good. Gonna have to check. Nite bro.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
June 13th 2012



8780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

sleep well! [:

Tyrael
June 13th 2012



20828 Comments


if you love space black metal


what

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
June 13th 2012



16315 Comments


def. gonna check this out great review

CaptainDooRight
June 13th 2012



28864 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just finished reading your review. Excellent! I appreciated your emphasis on the overall feel of this album. Sounds like something I may truly enjoy. Pos brethren.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
June 13th 2012



16315 Comments


Just finished listening, it was pretty good, probably like a 3-3.5, but it was a bit boring at times like you said.

seedofnothing
June 13th 2012



3425 Comments


Good review Noctus, might have to check this.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
June 13th 2012



8780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Just finished listening, it was pretty good, probably like a 3-3.5, but it was a bit boring at times like you said.


that's what i first thought but as the riffs start to grow on you, you do feel closer to it which lead to my higher rating

thanks guys! :]

Recspecs
June 13th 2012



9829 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review I'll probably check this out :]

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
June 13th 2012



8780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

i hope you guys like it! [:

seedofnothing
June 14th 2012



3425 Comments


Just heard two tracks off this and the elements are good but the compositions do nothing for me. Prolly like a 2.5 - 3

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
June 14th 2012



8780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

:[

Tyrael
June 14th 2012



20828 Comments


:]

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
June 14th 2012



8780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

i think you guys are going to this expecting a little too much [: i did try to word my review in a way where you wouldn't expect much, just a really nice sounding album

Tyrael
June 14th 2012



20828 Comments


I don't like space

:]

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
June 14th 2012



8780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

then you're wasting your time with this album, which i clearly said in the review [:

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
June 16th 2012



8780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

yes! :]

BallsToTheWall
October 5th 2012



44196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Rules hard so far.

Digging: My Chemical Romance - Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge

Recspecs
October 6th 2012



9829 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This was awesome.



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