With the amount of records being released in the present era, ranging from the bedroom to high-class studio productions, it is quite a challenge to satisfy my hunger for music lately. Most of this has to do with the fact that the music being released today lacks sincerity. Maybe I am stuck badly to the old-school understanding of rock music, but even though I try so hard, it happens quite a lot that I cannot understand and enjoy the modern music. The sound of 1970s is my comfort zone.
Althea from Milan, Italy could be described as a true progressive rock metal band with touches of metal here and there, offering well-thought melodies, interesting vocal arrangements, and passages that connect the dots that are quite enjoyable.
The album opens with “Regression from Regrets,” which after a short atmospheric intro shows that Memories Have No Name has a lot to offer. With often changes, Althea distances themselves from delivering just a pure, lifeless showcase of technical proficiency, something that these guys definitely have, but rather presents the work that is alive, dynamic and above all, interesting.
References to various stylistically different artists can be heard in Althea’s music. Their explorations within Anathema’s or Porcupine Tree’s melancholia speak of that, but the band is not afraid to delve deeper and expand their horizons. As Melodies Have No Name flows by, a listener is taken to a sound-trip that gets more metal-esque. Each of the songs on the album has its own personality, and labelling this record under a single genre would do this band a lot of injustice. As an example, “Paralyzed” is a very classic rock oriented song with addition of Opeth-ian vibe. “Revenge” channels Dream Theater, while “Halfway of Me” is somewhere between the mentioned US prog veterans and Rush. And that is just a small piece of what Memories Have No Name delivers.
To summarise, Memories Have No Name is a record largely based on the progressive rock genre channelling many different elements. This is a true epic, both in length and amount of quality material, which requires quite a few listens to get into it. How far Althea are ready to go? Time will tell. But for now they are on the right path.
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