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Alizarin: The Last Semblance
PAlizarin - The Last Semblance Album Art

Alizarin: The Last Semblance

Progressive Metal
4.0/5.0

Residing in the Los Angeles area, Alizarin was created by guitarist Josh Kay in 2017, intending to be an instrumental forward-thinking metal band. A short year later, Alizarin dropped their debut long-player Cast Zenith, which was indeed instrumental. Now Alizarin returns with their sophomore follow-up vocal album, The Last Semblance, with Kay becoming the band's lead vocalist.

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Alizarin

Alizarin, essentially, offers listeners a wallop of melodic progressive metal, steered by Kay's song composition and spry guitar work. His arrangements are robust and technical, yet pushing forward two important things: song harmony and melody and a proper balance of instruments. Everything is not all about getting to his guitar solo. The keyboards are lively, offering both accent and atmosphere. The synth presence enlivens Heirloom with sparkle at the front and lush embellishment throughout. Additionally, in the rhythm section, the bass is quite well-heard, often rising to some singular significance as within Fathom, Attenuation, or The Ivory Silo. As for his guitar work, I found Kay's riff harmony a juxtaposition between being sharp and subdued, the latter allowing for that instrumental balance throughout. For his guitar solos, they were also varied and significant, with some having something of a jazz-like quality as within Zero Sum, Fathom, or Elegy Simulacra. But, I thought many songs had rhythmic grooves that blurred some lines between rock, fusion, and progressive music. But those were my ears and you may feel differently. Finally, I have to speak to the elephant in the room: Josh Kay's vocals. Largely, I wasn't all that persuaded, finding his voice monotone and mundane. If Alizarin wants to make another vocal album, I think that they should hire a vocalist. Nevertheless, in a musical world swollen with progressive bands, Alizarin is a welcome and refreshing alternative, and and The Last Semblance an entertaining listen. Recommended.



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The Bottom Line

In a musical world swollen with progressive bands, Alizarin is a welcome and refreshing alternative, and The Last Semblance an entertaining listen. Recommended.

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