Written by: Kev Rowland
For those who haven’t heard of Almanac before this, they were formed by Victor Smolski after he decided to leave Rage after a fifteen-year tenure. What he is doing now is bringing together stories of murdered kings, of despots and tyrants, framed by power metal being presented by three (!) lead singers. Andy B. Franck’s (Brainstorm) soaring heavy metal voice, the roaring rock voice of David Readman (Pink Cream 69) and the mesmerizing siren chant of Jeannette Marchewka (Lingua Mortis Orchestra). There are bound to be similarities with Rage given that Victor was such an integral part of that band for so long, but this feels more dynamic, more Gothic, with way more dimensions that in his previous act.
It is when he launches into his fluid guitar solos that one really recognizes him, as he double tracks his own work, taking it into new dimensions. I was trying hard to think what Almanac reminded me of, and it took ages until I realized that what I was listening to was a heavy metal version of Rainbow, combined with a metallic version of Savatage. It is bombast taken to a new level, a band out not to rest on the laurels of those involved but rather create a whole new set of fans who may not even have come across the others acts before this. I can’t imagine power metal really getting much better than this, and anyone who enjoys the Germanic slant on the genre that Rage were so famous for will love this as it has been taken to a whole new level.
Regicide // Children of the Sacred Path // Guilty as Charged // Hail to the King // Losing My Mind // Kingslayer // Kingdom of the Blind // Headstrong // Last Farewell // Red Flag