Albatross – The Kissing Flies
After much hype and close to a couple of years since their debut, Albatross bring their second offering. One that lives up to all the hype, a sequel to Dinner Is You, written and produced in commendable fashion. A split with American occult doom metal band Vestal Claret. Splits usually find their way among different kinds of fans, In this instance a doom metal newb like myself found himself enjoying what this effulgent band has to offer, over a span of 17 minutes.
The EP starts off with Wither. A weird atmospheric intro with frontman Biproshree Das exercising his set of pipes for what’s to follow. A thrashy showcase of the guitarists’ riffing and soloing abilities coupled with the distinctive story-telling voice of Biproshree. The song that was released quite a while back, Uncle Sunny At The Tavern also features Wolf frontman Niklas Stalvind at the microphone. A song of varying tempos, catchy thrash metal oriented riffing and a handful of vocal variations make this the most attractive bit of Albatross on this CD. Story oriented as Albatross have always been, the whole EP revolves around a fictional town infested by deadly flies. Though not a fan of literature oriented song writing, I quite enjoy the conceptuality of it all. As King Diamond as any Indian band can get. The title track is a ten minute long stretch. Quite a bit of exemplary riff writing and drumming too. The chorus truly a stand out, catchy as hell. And the shredding never leaves the song alone. Add to this some very well panned flies buzzing about. The growling vocals though not badly done are not a good fit but seem to go with the horrifying bit. I still prefer the lead playing. The guitars resonate with a curious tone of authority throughout the album. The vocal exercises continue into the least interesting song on the EP. One clearly over shadowed by Uncle Sunny in terms of performance. Not a song one would want to look forward to live, though a bit of groove exists now and then and in no way is a bad song. The final track is by Vestal Claret, as stated before, a 17 minute long epic. Pure brilliance executed by them, soothingly melodic yet dark and eerie at the same time. A good set of pipes in the vocalist too, commanding and very well capable of holding the listener’s attention. After a bunch of verses and a few sweet solos the song breaks off into a different tempo with a riff that’s strikingly similar to Black Sabbath’s Children of the Grave. Takes a wild ride and comes back full circle. At about twelve and half minutes the riffs get a little Kryptos-esque, a sweet reminder of Bangalore’s finest band, though seems purely co incidental.
The CD is a great buy for several reasons. The production is down right perfect. Done by Wolf’s singer Niklas Stalvind (besides handling guest vocal duties), it brings out every aspect of Albatross’ sound. The EP is conceptually more interesting that it’s predecessor. And the entire’s band hard work has really come good. And as aforementioned, a split. A window to gather newer audience and a feather in their hats to share a CD with Vestal Claret. Great job! The CD is definitely worth a buy, so if you’re a reader of this review, the purchase comes highly recommended. Even more so if you’re into doom and heavy metal all the same.