ALMAh at PROG POWER Festival (live review)
September of 2005. Angra headlining ProgPower USA VI. Temple of the Shadows tour and an unforgettable show, both for the audience and the band. Edu Falaschi was the lead singer of one of the greatest Brazilian Metal bands of all time and led the way for this rare appearance of this band in America’s soil.
A lot of things happened after that and, 10 years later, September 10th of 2015, Edu Falaschi is again on Atlanta’s Centerstage, leading his new band Almah, to the first show of the Kickoff Party for the ProgPower USA XVI. The expectations were high. Almah’s recent effort, “Unfold”, received great reviews all around the world, and this would be the band’s first ever concert in the US.
Around 5:10 PM, lights go out, the classical intro starts and the curtains open. We can see the new drummer, Pedro Tinello climbing up the drum kit, while Guitarists Marcelo Barbosa and Diogo Mafra take their places with their 7-Strings, and bassist Raphael Dafras shows up with is 6-Strings Ibanez.
Once the intro is over, Tinello counts to 4 and the bands opens it show with “Wings of Destination”, from their latest album, “Unfold”.
This is the first song not only of the set, but also of the night. So, sound check happened during this song, which the band handled really well, keeping the energy up. Falaschi had to switch mics a couple of times but, when singing, his voice sounded as strong as it always has been.
Even though Almah was the first band of the night, the place was already quite full, and we could see several fans singing along the catchy “Ooo” on the Chorus, showing that Almah is growing its own name.
“Living and Drifting”, from the album “Motion”, was the second song of the set. Executed perfectly by the band, with the volumes properly adjusted, it was really well received by the audience. Falaschi thanked the public, remembered some familiar faces that saw him 10 years before when he was there with Angra, and started captivating the local audience.
“Raise the Sun”, the first single from “Unfold”, came next. Also perfectly played by the entire band, with Falaschi’s voice sounding better as the show progressed.
Now, it was time for the first Angra’s song of the night. Falaschi announced and the audience cheered when they learned that they would listen to “Heroes of the Sand” with its original voice. Guitarist Marcelo Barbosa performed the challenging two-handed intro with perfection, to bring the whole band in a crescendo that leads to the grandiose of the Chorus. The band sounded solid and all the musicians played their parts with perfection.
“Believer”, a fast-paced song from the “Unfold”album, came next. The crowd sang the catchy Chorus along with the Band, and Falaschi showed that his voice is as strong as it has been in the past, reaching high notes and cries towards the end of the song, while showing his Bruce Dickinson’s influences on the Bridge and Chorus. It was one of the highlights of the night, showing that Almah is cultivating a loyal, solid and growing fan base in the US.
“Days of the New”, from the “Motion” album followed suit, bringing the band’s versatility, mixing heavy 7-Strings riffs, which sounded like a blend of Grunge and Dream Theater. It was warmly received by the public once again.
Then, Falaschi announced the 9-minuted epic Prog Metal “Treasure of the Gods”, also from the latest album, “Unfold”. On a festival that has “Prog” on the name, this was the perfect tune for the night. The band played the song with all its time signatures and mood changes, making the night of a prog-hungry audience.
The last two songs were both Angra songs, and warmly cheered by the public: “Angels and Demos”, a masterpiece from Angra’s “Temple of the shadows”, came first and showed how technically advanced this band really is, since all the musicians played their parts sounding exactly like the original recording, including the solos. Guitarists Barbosa and Mafra learned and played Rafael Bittencourt’s and Kiko Loureiro parts with precision, while Dafras and Tinello sounded as solid and heavy as the original Aquiles Priester’s and Felipe Anderoli’s takes.
“Nova Era”, the opening song from Angra’s first effort with Falaschi, “Rebirth”, closed the night at a high note. Again, perfection. Falaschi’s voice sounded strong even at the end of the set, with the audience singing the epic Chorus and responding to Falaschi’s commands, showing that the connection between the band and the public was definitely established, and that a solid fan base is growing strongly and consistently.
It was a great first time ever in US soil concert for Almah, bringing talented young musicians accompanied by one of the strongest voice of the Power Metal genre, showing that yet another great act from the Brazilian Metal scene is on the rise. We really hope we don’t have to wait another 10 years to see them again the US!!!