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Ray Alder: II
Ray Alder - II Album Art

Ray Alder: II

Melodic Progressive Metal Rock
5.0/5.0

Four years ago, Fates Warning vocalist Ray Alder ventured into unknown territory, creating a solo project. What The Water Wants found Alder exploring more melodic hard rock rather than progressive metal. It was a fine album. Now, Alder returns with his second solo effort, aptly titled II. Once more has creative and songwriting help from guitarists Tony Hernando (Lords Of Black) and Mike Abdow (Fates Warning) with Craig Anderson on the skins.

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With II, Alder returns to some familiar territory: melodic progressive metal rock. The arrangements are heavier, bit more complex, and dense, than the previous recording. Yet, the compositions remain wrapped in song and vocal melody and harmony with an undercurrent of rock rhythm and groove. Also and again, as a vocal talent and technician, Alder is in fine form. (Though he should probably smile more.)


Yet, as much as I appreciate his vocal work, Alder is nearly trumped by the song writing. Certainly, his vocal performance compliments the songs. But as I listened, I found myself intrigued by the musical movement of each song, especially the guitar work. Something was happening. Every time the guitar work rose, I found myself pausing in space/time to listen. Really listen. That does happen often, even as a reviewer. (When was the last time that happened to you?)

Damn. This is a great album of melodic progressive music. Every song is terrific. To point out one, two, or several would only diminish the whole. Okay. Pick hits for arrangement and guitar work: My Oblivion, Silence The Enemy, Hands Of Time, and Those Words I Bled. The latter two are some the heaviest songs here. Something softer comes with Keep Wandering, wherein Alder and the guitar lines merge for some awesome singularity.

All in all, Ray Alder's II not only displays his exceptional vocal talent but also delivers one of the finest melodic progressive metal rock albums of this year. The whole album stands on the pillars of excellent song composition and epic guitar work. Quite recommended.



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The Take Away

Ray Alder's II not only displays his exceptional vocal talent but also delivers one of the finest melodic progressive metal rock albums of this year. The whole album stands on the pillars of excellent song composition and epic guitar work. Quite recommended. Fandamntastic.

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