Leon : I've said it before, classical music and metal fit well together. Whether we are talking about melodic black metal (Dimmu Borgir) or symphonic metal (Nightwish), classical music can be applied to every style of metal. Today I write about a CD from Ally The Fiddle, a band from Germany in which a violinist, named Ally Storch, is the bandleader. The band was founded in 2008 and released their debut album 'The One' five years later. The Germans have taken five years’ time for the successor of ‘The One’ and is being released this year under the name 'Up'.
Let me start by saying that it’s a bit of a strange album, there are some huge differences between the songs in terms of sound and style. In general, the band plays instrumental progressive rock but there is also a song that could have easily been placed on a jazz album, and also a song where a long bass guitar 'solo' is played with some supporting drums. The thing is that I really like the music at certain moments (the jazz tune 'Aphotic Zone' is very good for example) but because the songs are so different, the band does not keep that high level throughout the record. Even the songs themselves can have abrupt changes. Super drummer Marco Minnemann, who is a guest contributor to 'The Path', can’t even make up for it, in fact, the song he is participating in sounds very chaotic because both Minnemann and Ally want to show what they can do. Ally also tries to sing on a few songs, but this is not a pleasure for the ears, she has a very(!) strong German accent and is clearly less talented when it comes down to singing than playing the violin. With some effects it can by covered up a bit, but I don’t understand why they just didn’t make an instrumental album, or ask guest artists to sing. I am also impressed by guitarist Robert Klawonn (or is it Eric Langbecker?), who plays with a lot of feeling but can also play technical solos, he knows how to get the best out of the songs. Too bad the sound of the guitars isn’t always good, sometimes the guitars sound very cheap. The album is closed by a cover of Joe Satriani’s 'Surfing With The Alien', and the band did a pretty good job at that.
What the heck am I supposed to do with this one? A very strange album where at times I was impressed by the music and at other times was hoping that the song would be over soon. Too bad, because I really liked the good moments of 'Ally The fiddle'. If the band would be more consistent with the songs, if Ally wouldn’t sing anymore, and the sound of the production would be good across the board, this band could really do something nice. Now, it’s just too inconsistent enough for me to really enjoy it all the way through.