Alphastate - Out Of The Black Review - Thomas Neil

Before I get started I want to say a little about the band itself, Alphastate are a heavy metal band from Greece who formed in April 2014. They fused traditional 80/90s metal like steelheart, Pantera and Black Sabbath with a more modern vibe. They apparently spent plenty of time in the studio getting their sound perfect and now that they’ve got it right they are ready to introduce themselves with their album ‘Out Of The Black’

The members of the group are Pete Breaker on guitar, Manos Xanthakis on vox, Dimitris Tsounakas on bass and Foivos Andriopoulos on drums.

So hopefully you know the group a little better, now I’m always a little uncertain when I receive a submission instead of getting it myself because I don’t know what to expect but Alphastate and their new album ‘Out Of The Black’ hit me like a bolt out of the blue and I’ll be looking forward to hearing more from them in the future.

‘Out of the black’ The titular track started off incredibly well, you can really feel the heavy metal classic roots here, it's a nostalgia trip but it still feels fresh as well. This track was powerful and got me headbanging first thing in the morning. It's certainly a strong opening track that paves the way for a great album inspired by thrashing monster metal ballads.

‘Last Day’ has an equally strong open, the guitar burning onto the scene with the drums keeping it steady, the song fills you with an energy better contained to a live venue and not your bedroom but nonetheless it's a great song which knows exactly where it's coming through and keeps a consistent tone which they maintain throughout the album.

‘Don’t Look Back’ has a bit more of a melodic thread running throughout but it doesn’t forget to inject some powerful strings and drums into it and it just adds up to one hell of a song, in fact I think it might be one of my favourite tracks on the album. This track especially shows that the singer knows how to pay homage to the big metal gods that came before him while doing his own thing.

‘Before the Soul Departs’ I’ve mentioned it in reviews before that as a writer titles intrigue me, give me a strange, interesting or cool sounding title any day and so when I saw this I was really excited and hoped that the song would live up to such a cool title and it did not disappoint. We open again to some heavy notes being belted out magnificently which seems to be something of a staple for this group and it doesn’t let up. This song changes up the vocal part a little but still seems to be more melodic like the previous track, and I like it.

‘Great Divide’ gets the heart pumping with an intro designed to fill you up and it doesn’t waste that potential although I do think it would do well in a live environment where you could do something with all that energy. The song describes perfectly what it does, it talks about ‘waves of passion’ and some combination of the instruments and the singers powerful voice sends these waves right through you.

‘Road to Hell’ probably has my favourite intro of the 10 tracks for this album, something about it was just epic and it definitely fits with a track called ‘road to hell’, I think I liked this whole track, something about it was just so on the ball, it was quick and just carried you away, another candidate for the whole waves of passion thing I was talking about in the previous track.

‘World’s Control’ starts of differently from the other tracks, soft synth bass and guitar that’s quite fellow, now I describe other songs as melodic but this song usurps that description. It was quite a gentle track after the previous track, a bit like a comedown after the last song got you hyped. That’s a good thing by the way, an album can’t be all up so having something a little easier to bring you back down is perfect. That’s not to say it's all easy listening it more than earns its metal badge in the second half by ramping up the thrashing guitar again and jolting you out of the revere caused by the first half.

‘Only Chance’ starts to build us back up again by packing in plenty of epic moments with the guitar, there's a riff at the beginning that I absolutely loved. I usually don’t comment on the lyrics too much unless there’s something really important to talk about but I really liked the story for this track, it wasn’t on its own different but I just liked the little narrative they weaved into the track.

‘The System’ brings us well and truly back into a full heavy metal track and it spares no expense showing how well this band flow together. The next track might be called ‘The End’ but I feel that this track is the perfect closer for a live performance or for an album. Just something about how it goes, keeping up the momentum from the previous tracks but slowly winding down through it's awesome guitar sequences.

‘The End’ is just an incredible track that is simple and yet complex and needs to be listened to more than once. Now often as a reviewer i try to explain music in terms of how I process it, like if I’d been traveling a lot while listening to an album for a review then I’d say which songs I felt worked well with that, and I know I’ve talked about this feeling before but this track from the get go feels like one of those tracks where you just lie back in an empty room, close your eyes, listen and let it wash over you. I said in the previous part that ‘The System’ feels like an excellent closing song and I stand by that but this song does that just as well and it knows exactly where to carry you…. on those waves of passion I keep talking about.

So that’s what I think of Alphastate’s new album and if you want to check out what’s going on with the group then like them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AlphaStateMetal/ or follow them on twitter https://twitter.com/AlphaState_2014