Ray Alder
What The Water Wants


3.4
great

Review

by Trey STAFF
October 19th, 2019 | 51 replies


Release Date: 10/18/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Ray Alder's first solo album is a chill, classy, showcase of his superb vocal ability. Just don't expect any prog.

I’ve been a fan of Ray Alder’s vocals ever since I first heard them on Parallels. I’ve followed him as he slowly transitioned from the higher registers to the more manageable mid-range he currently occupies. It was his addition to Redemption that first prompted me to check them out, and it was his voice that carried the modern metal stylings of the two Engine albums. I say this to make it clear that What the Water Wants is for people like me – fans of Ray Alder’s vocals. I say this so people don’t come into this album expecting the proggy power metal of Redemption or the moody prog of Fates Warning – and it’s definitely not a third try at Engine. Ray Alder’s first solo release is an album full of chill, atmospheric, tracks that barely even flirt with progressive metal in any traditional sense. Instead, the music of What the Water Wants generally sticks to one interesting idea while providing solid support for the star of the show – the man whose name is on the album cover.

In hindsight, using “What the Water Wanted” as the album’s first single might not have been the best of ideas. The riff-heavy track is definitely an excellent song, but between the energy levels and metal angle, it definitely does not represent the album. Granted, it features two staples of the album – chorus-heavy songs carried by Ray Alder’s excellent vocals, and a streamlined musical approach – but in every other way it is unique. Opening track, “Lost”, would have been a much better lead single, if only to give fans a better idea of what to expect. “Lost” is chill without being lethargic, featuring creative musicianship while never becoming self-indulgent. The main draw, as with every song here, is Ray’s vocals which even carry a bit of grit during the chorus. It’s hard to give much more of a description beyond what I’ve already said. A majority of What the Water Wants sits somewhere around “mellow and chill” and “moving but chill” with only a few exceptions. Despite that description, though, the album is still pretty damn good thanks to the little cool musical flourishes (such as the cyclical bass line on “Crown of Thorns), and the solid songwriting and vocals courtesy of Ray Alder.

In recent interviews, Ray has expressed a desire to not have his first solo release sound like just another Fates Warning album, and I think he accomplished that. What the Water Wants is definitely moody, but it approaches that feel from a more atmospheric and chill direction. The music features stellar musicianship without ever having to show off. Instead, each song seems to feature one or two cool ideas that Ray Alder uses to deliver some of the most vocal-centric songs of his career; complete with some of his most immediate hooks and memorable vocal melodies. On first listen, some fans may be surprised by just how mellow a majority of What the Water Wants is, but they should also find themselves replaying Ray’s vocal melodies in their head and wanting to come back for more.



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user ratings (22)
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
October 19th 2019


18055 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

What the Water Wanted: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S98AiUmNPHU



Crown of Thorns: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvzmK-X7SPw

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2019


8524 Comments


Album stream:
http://musicmp3.ru/artist_ray-alder__album_what-the-water-wants.html

Jamming right now and reading in the interim.

Thalassic
October 19th 2019


3654 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Didn't jam yet but I predict I'm gonna love this because Alder.

Titan
October 19th 2019


20014 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Helllllyeahhhh gentlemen!



Willie telling us if we like chics with big tits, we're not getting them here. Sometimes, small titties are nice too.





Titan
October 19th 2019


20014 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

An fuck that Willie, bounce those other bullshit albums that aren't Sowing's off the front page marquis and put this in there!

SowingSeason
Moderator
October 19th 2019


32817 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nice review. I like that you went out of your way to prevent disappointment from readers who are hoping for it to sound like his work within prog/metal bands. I'm a casual Fates Warning listener, but a huge fan of mellow albums as you already know, so I'm thinking about checking this out.

Digging: Coldplay - Everyday Life

teamster
October 19th 2019


4503 Comments


Can’t wait to listen. Ray Alder is arguably my favorite metal vocalist of all time. Excellent review and thanks.

Willie
Moderator
October 19th 2019


18055 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

--Willie telling us if we like chics with big tits, we're not getting them here. Sometimes, small titties are nice too.--

Ha ha. Nice analogy.



--Nice review. I like that you went out of your way to prevent disappointment from readers who are hoping for it to sound like his work within prog/metal bands. I'm a casual Fates Warning listener, but a huge fan of mellow albums as you already know, so I'm thinking about checking this out. --

Check it out. I can't see how I could actually 2-for-2 on writing about things Sowing actually likes, but maybe... ;)



--Can’t wait to listen. Ray Alder is arguably my favorite metal vocalist of all time. Excellent review and thanks.--

No problem. Check it out.

Source
October 21st 2019


14768 Comments


awesome

CaptainDooRight
October 21st 2019


4202 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

love this and the bass production is fantastic, not to mention the overall production

Digging: Sarcasm (SWE) - Esoteric Tales of the Unserene

CaptainDooRight
October 21st 2019


4202 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

eye can see myself lifting to this and dam some of these songs could make some excellent dbz amv’s, I.E. Shine

CaptainDooRight
October 21st 2019


4202 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

dam how is this so gd 4 it willie

rayraypine
October 21st 2019


84 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think 3.5 is pretty much where this is at. It's very good and has some highs (Lost, Some Days, The Killing Floor) while maintaining a nice balance. I don't think it's *that* chill... but I certainly understand warning people ahead of time.



That said, I hear a lot of mid 90s era FW in this sound. Its not proggy, but the melodic choices remind me of it. Nice review!

rayraypine
October 21st 2019


84 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Also happy this review got highlighted. Ray deserves more attention!

sonictheplumber
October 21st 2019


10631 Comments


Eh might hold off on this one

Digging: Humus (MEX) - Malleus Crease

sonictheplumber
October 21st 2019


10631 Comments


Saw them back in March with toddryche and both bands were a little disappointing

CaptainDooRight
October 21st 2019


4202 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

dam



KjSwantko
October 21st 2019


11552 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm gonna give this another go but I really wasn't a fan of the vocals. Instrumentally it was pretty dope at times though from the first half of the album I listened to.

Willie
Moderator
October 21st 2019


18055 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

--love this and the bass production is fantastic, not to mention the overall production--

Definitely one of the best sounds I've heard in a while.



--I think 3.5 is pretty much where this is at. It's very good and has some highs (Lost, Some Days, The Killing Floor) while maintaining a nice balance. I don't think it's *that* chill... but I certainly understand warning people ahead of time.

That said, I hear a lot of mid 90s era FW in this sound. Its not proggy, but the melodic choices remind me of it. Nice review!--


I felt like it was very chill compared to what he normally does with any of his other three bands, and definitely less prog. I occasionally heard hints of FW, but I always figured it was more due to his voice.



--Saw them back in March with toddryche and both bands were a little disappointing--

Queensryche feels like it's barely being held together at this point, but their last album was really good. Fates Warning has lacked energy in the live situations (minus the drummer) for years, but they play damn near flawlessly.



--I'm gonna give this another go but I really wasn't a fan of the vocals. Instrumentally it was pretty dope at times though from the first half of the album I listened to.--

That's kind of weird considering Prog makes up 28% of your little preferences wheel. Do you like Fates Warning or Redemption?

Titan
October 21st 2019


20014 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

A few spins in and I'm going to be struggling to keep this relevant. Ray's vocals are great, but the instrumentation just isn't keeping me engaged.



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