I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around this release for quite sometime now, to describe this album with words like “”rich”” or “”handful”” would be the understatement of the year. I had to listen to the album several times in order to be as thorough as possible with my opinions.

A quick introduction about the band is a must. Ambrotypeis a solo project based in Syria by Mr. Adel Saflou; he writes all of the music. The band is a “Progressive metal/rock, jazz” as per their Facebook page. So let’s get this party started, shall we?

The intro track of the album ‘Wretch’ introduced a gloomy and mysterious atmosphere with just the acoustics and synths in motion. Add the distorted radio like vocals and you have a really good vibe coming out of the song. It reminded me of Antimatter‘s work a lot. Then ‘Crown Of Thorns’ started and it pretty much never looked back. Those were some real progressive metal riffs! The variation of the notes was undeniably genius. The moods changed throughout the song a lot. As I was listening to this song and pretty much every other song in the entire album, I couldn’t help but to feel like the music is highly influenced by Opeth and Steven Wilson. The acoustic passages, the solos, the growls. It all fits.

“Name the quest and I shall rise again…. beside my grave. Name the quest and see me fall down again…. In your hell”

That part of the song was so catchy I couldn’t shake it off. It haunted my mind for days after.

The guitar work in the entire album is great, I personally loved all of it. There wasn’t a single note that felt out of tune or out of place. I didn’t quite hear the bass playing in the album, and I don’t know why actually. The drumming is progressive but if compared to other progressive releases it’s a slight meh. It did the job perfectly though. As for the vocals, I admired the clean vocals a lot. They were unique and outstanding in their own way. You rarely ever listen to clean vocals like these. The growling was surprisingly strong. A slightly narrow range, but holding the lines pretty well.

There were some oriental influences in the mixture as well; in the intro of ‘I Am the Beast’it was undeniably clear. And it showed in other tracks as well. The influence was too mild to be added to the genre though.

My favorites from the album were too many. I honestly couldn’t choose what I liked the most; I changed my mind so many times. Then I finally made up my mind and decided to choose ‘I Am the Beast’ and ‘The Ambrotype’. And they also happen to be the longest tracks in the entire album.

The band is a true gem, and I’m very glad that I had the opportunity to review this album truly. So the true question is “Do you have to get the album?” Absolutely. You are going to enjoy this release.

Edited by: Ahmed S. Khalil

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