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Ally the Fiddle: Up

Here is an eclectic album from north German band Ally the Fiddle. As you have probably surmised the fiddle is prominent, led by Ally Storch. Up is the band’s second album following on the footsteps of The One, released in 2013. This is another one of those bands that is a bit hard to categorize as they throw in a wide mixture of styles like fusion, folk, progressive metal and rock. It is obvious the band is tight and can play with the best of them but occasionally the multitude of change ups and stops/starts feels a bit forced. Still, there is much here to enjoy for progressive music fans. Another criticism are the vocals of Storch. Her German accent causes her voice to sound flat at times, even though she is on key. Or maybe she sings with a discordant edge. Her vocals are not bad per say but they will be an acquired taste.

The first track “Sisyphos” changes pace multiple times with the fiddle highlighted throughout. Storch is an excellent musician, her ultra-fast fiddle breaks contrast with her slower, more mournful notes. The guitar riffs are nice and chunky, adding a certain amount of heft. My only complaint is that some of the transitions could have been a bit smoother but it’s a good song nonetheless. Fusion is the name of the game with the interesting instrumental “Aphotic Zone”. Shades of heavy and light, rapid fiddle fills, excellent fusion style guitar soloing and bursts of heavy guitar riffs all serve to heighten the drama. “The Bass Thing” is another instrumental with much more moody intentions with the liquid bass lines being a main highlight. Celtic flavourings are sprinkled throughout the eclectic “The Path” as Storch shreds on the violin and on “Tree” where a moody guitar arpeggio and tranquil sounds are abruptly interrupted with heavy bursts of guitar. The stop/starts on “Try To Stop Me” may be a bit heavy handed but when the band gets heavy its full throttle ahead.

Up is a strange album for me. While the highs outweigh the lows and there are many reasons why I should love this it may be a tad too much for me to take in. Still, with musicianship this good a 3.5 star rating seems about right.

A Gentle Art Of Music release.

Track Listing:
1. Sisyphos (6:26)
2. Aphotic Zone (6:01)
3. The Bass Thing (8:01)
4. The Path (7:43)
5. Tree (6:09)
6. Try To Stop Me (5:28)
7. Living In A Bubble (6:24)
8. Entering Stratosphere (4:23)
9. Center Sun (8:34)
Bonus Track
10. Surfing With The Alien (4:17)

Added: October 7th 2018
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 640
Language: english

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