E.V.O by Almah is a totally awesome album. I think it has a claim on being one of the best this year. So I am not going to hesitate to lay down that claim right here and now and give it a supremely stellar rating.

I am going to have to respectfully disagree with the assessment of this disc by Zephyrus in the very well-written review over at Angry Metal Guy. Zephyrus complains that the music is too poppy and happy for a metal album.

On the contrary, I think this album is an exhilarating exhibition of tremendously uplifting power metal. Almah, a highly-skilled metal outfit from Brazil, should be congratulated for their perfect blend here of musical virtuosity and accessibly melodic hooks that can appeal to the general populace.

Further, the band shreds and scorches in many satisfying ways throughout the entire disc, with enough hard rocking appeal for the most serious of metal-heads.

There are so many great songs here that they will make you nod your own head in head-banging synchronization. Excellent guitar solos, magnificent drum fills, richly harmonic vocals — it all adds up to extremely fine music. In my opinion only an ear dulled by really lousy death metal could object on the grounds that the music sounds too cheery (or Christian).

In fact, what I like most about this album are its frequent exuberant references to the youthfully naive feel of rock and metal from the 80s. Just like Haken did with Affinity, these Brazilian dudes take influences from the past and integrate them into their own satisfyingly contemporary creations.

It’s hard to pick a favorite here. Usually the best songs will happen by design at the beginning and end of albums (to help you forget the middling in-between), but even the inner cuts are scorchingly superb on this disc. Check out “Innocence,” “Higher,” “Infatuated,” “Pleased to Meet You,” or “Final Warning,” all of which are incredible examples of how this album never flags and always keeps you revising your estimate of just what your own favorite song on it might be.

But I’m not going to play favorites. It’s all good. Download this ridiculously good metal album today. After all, what’s wrong with being of good cheer? Almah knows how to cultivate the childlike joy of killer metal riffs and tasty guitar licks. Why not join the fun?