ALWAID – THE MACHINE AND THE BEAST (Valkyrie Rising/Sonic Rendezvous)

Review by Stefan: Alwaid is a female fronted, melodic/symphonic metal act out of Lille (France), established in 2010. A first three-song demo they brought out in 2012, debuted for real they did with the full length entitled  “Lacus Somniorum”, released in March 2014 as an independent release with which the group has scored high tops. For the world of melodic metal, a first achievement that would surely got a follow up… fanbase grew on and on as Alwaid offered their fans at least more than 80 shows during five years across France, Belgium, United Kingdom and Holland ! This is my first contact with the band so I am not authorized to make a judgment about their first album and style. Did some research on the internet and the opinions were mixed, some praised the album to heaven – others were rather moderately satisfied. All type of reactions you got with every album released, regardless of the band’s reputation, I tend to respect everyone’s opinion and rather decide for myself whether or not the album fits my approval. Rejecting a group according to your own taste for a certain style is unjustified I my opinion.

Cruising down to all of the new songs adding to the playlist of their newest “The Machine And The Beast”, I have to admit that it’s not really my alley. I’m more into old school/traditional hard rock/metal music and Alwaid has absolutely nothing to do with all that matters the so called ‘Good ol’ days’. But at the other band I have to admit that what they bring to the table is real good within this genre, symphonic/melodic metal. These days, when speak about female fronted acts, most of the people thinks about Nightwish, Within Temptation, Epica,…. Allow me to say that I really don’t like these type of acts, mostly because of the singing style too much operatic/soprano styled…. Get the creeps of it, sure thing ! Musical wise for this gem, I can listen to it but on a very sporadic basis. I guess I’m running old for this shit folks !

To compare this statement with the music of Alwaid, I have to tell you that the musicians deliver the goods, especially the guitar actions of Max (also the servant of Grunt parts) are top-notch. Nearly shred guitar movements and that’s what I’m into… flammable guitar tactics loaded with a whole lot of technique, like it a lot ! Another Alwaid player that absorbs my attention is Marie and her very variable way of singing. She can go all the way with a voice like this but, and again, it’s the soprano esque vocal passages (which she uses from time to time) those who can be described as a bridge too far for me. Never be a fan of this type of singing and I never will but that dear people, is a pure personal matter. FYI: some of my female singers are Ann Boleyn (Hellion), Leather Leone (Chastain), Val Seals (Wolfeblitzer), Jutta Weinhold (Zed Yago/Weinhold), Lana Lane, Lee Aaron, Debbie Gunn (Sentinel Beast), Dawn Crosby (ex-Détente/Fear Of God) …

“The Machine And The Beast” has nice melodies, some dark boosted aggression on board and the songwriting is good as well, for this type of music at least. ‘Amphisbaena’ for example is a well done composition, actually the signboard of the band ! Most of their musical capabilities are present while a dark mood is breathing down your neck. The bombastic sound quality keeps your neighbours wide awake when you reduce the volume of your amp to the maximum !

In principle and honestly I am not the right person to provide this type of albums with a discussion, but we’re running out of co-writers and as CEO of Metal To Infinity, I have to do what I have to do you know. Hard to find the right people to collaborate with as it should be, it’s not the intention to write only but a few reviews to end up the collaboration already. Maybe they’re not passionate enough or they haven’t the time left to write articles? Fact is that I will keep my open wide for some more dedicated writers. If you feel the need, be my guest ! Meanwhile, we keep going on with those pure passionate and reliable individuals, on board for a long time so far delivering the best they can… I’m very grateful to them !

Back to Alwaid and its newest cut “The Machine And The Beast”, the production is real good and without being too much negative they’re able to give me some pleasant moments from time to time. Those into dark symphonic, female fronted melodic metal do not have to think twice about purchasing the piece, please proceed while visiting their official homepage at: http://www.alwaidband.com/ … you’ll find the way to place an order right away. A pearl within its genre, as a supporter to rock and metal for decades, I’d rather rest my case.

My rating: 80/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)

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