Adramelch – Lights From Oblivion
Lights from Oblivion
I think that perhaps one of the most rewarding reactions I have to new music is surprise. Sure, there are bad surprises, (I could take quite a few digs here at bands that started sucking without warning, but I’ll save it), but in the case of Adramelch’s latest, Lights from Oblivion, that surprise came a few days after receiving the promo, and realizing that I had neglected to listen to anything else since. Somehow, these twelve tracks had presented themselves as so even, so well put together, so memorable, catchy, and original, that I can’t say I found myself bored even once.
More surprising yet is how the album unveiled its secrets to me through repeated listens. Instead of getting tired (as I am prone to with much of any music that I listen to too much), Lights from Oblivion managed to simply get better and better. For progressive rock and metal, that’s pretty standard fare. If you can understand the whole thing on your first listen, then chances are there’s not a whole lot going on, and the replay value is quite limited.
Before I dive too much deeper here, (because I have a lot to say), I’ll offer a more general description of what exactly is going on in Lights from Oblivion, because music is a fickle beauty, and tastes vary widely. There are 12 short to middle length progressive rock songs bordering on melodic rock and progressive metal. The guitars are extremely prominent with a dreamy quality, and the general feel of the album is very upbeat: very seldom cheesy, but always upbeat. Short those with deep-seated opposition to these factors, this album should be completely enjoyable.
The trap that prog bands fall into far too often is not offering up immediacy on their work to convince the listener that its worth that third or fourth listen. This, I think, is where Adramelch shines because, as a really rare trait for this kind of music, songs from the album are actually a lot of fun. Take the album opener “Lights” for instance: you’ve got all the rich textures and complex arrangements that promise future returns, and they’re presented in a way that’s catchy, and bound to get your head moving through the chorus by sheer force of melody.
What immediately follows is one of my favorite tracks on the album, “Aelegia”, perhaps a real showcase for the band’s excellent vocalist, whose performance borders fascinatingly close to some of Bruce Dickinson’s better work with Iron Maiden (Did I really just compare this singer to Bruce Dickinson? Yes I did, and I’m not taking it back). It’s a rare feat, especially for a band going as many as twelve songs, and clocking an album at an hour+, but not only is there not a weak song on Lights from Oblivion, I don’t even know that there’s a weak moment on any individual track. Take the fourth song, “Truth Lies”, for example, five minutes of music, and so many ideas, transitions, and melodies packed in that you really can’t process it on just one listen. Even the slower songs like “Wonderful Magician” and “King (Of The Rain Of Tomorrow)” are done with such excellence that the flow of the album is still completely preserved. This is exactly how “growers” should work, as far as albums. I’ve heard the claim all too often after I don’t like an album that I have to “give it a few times through, because it’s a real grower”. Contrary to stuff like that, Lights from Oblivion is completely immersive, if even overwhelming on the first listen, and makes you WANT to come back for more, without anyone having to tell you.
Even down to the guitar solos, I am consistently impressed with Adramelch’s ambition. From the frenzied pack of diverse melodies present in every track, to the grandiose and fulfilling guitar solos that occasionally might make much more self-indulgent prog metal bands blush, Adramelch pulls it all off, and with style.
Dagg’s Rating: 4.5 out of 5