Alley - Amphibious

Progressive Death Metal is a genre of Metal where the music explores vast thunderous sounding landscapes while altering the common song structure by pushing musical boundaries. Bands like Opeth and Gojira are two well known and established Progressive Death Metal bands that create brilliantly heavy complex music. Recently, I have noticed numerous bands across the globe trying to create their own brand of captivating Progressive Death Metal. Alley is a group of talented Progressive Death Metal musicians from Russia who blend extreme Death Metal with melodic atmospheric sounding Progressive Metal. When Alley creates a song they do not simply come up with a repeating verse chorus pattern, but instead paint a massive sounding diverse musical piece on an endless recorded canvas. Their second album “Amphibious” is a powerful Progressive Death Metal offering. The intense progressive technical musicianship creates long captivating musically diverse tracks. The shortest song on this album is around seven to eight minutes! Even though the songs are long I find Alleyʼs creative progressive sound to keep the music constantly flowing and engaging.

The first song “Lighthouse” starts out with the sound of calming ocean waves splashing around accompanied by a pleasant piano piece. Then a slow pounding heavy guitar riff comes in to end the calm atmosphere. As the drums and guitar build up in sound the lead singer presents low growling vocals which do a great job giving “Lighthouse” an emotional sounding boost. Towards the middle of the song there is a gloomy sounding instrumental jam. This song goes through numerous tempo changes and riff patterns, so be prepared for the unexpected. Alley does a great job building up their heavy extreme side while being able to ease back to a calm soothing sound. On song two “Weather Report” Alley starts out with a very triumphant Metal sound. There is a contrast between clear melodic vocals and the heavy death growls. I noticed the drumming and guitar parts tend to create a strong foundation for the two different vocal styles to present the songʼs lyrical content. The title track on this album is probably my favorite. It begins with a furious grinding extreme metal attack which breaks off briefly for a low echoing emphasized guitar riff. Alley does a great job combining variety of sounds and musical atmospheres to present a complex Progressive Death Metal journey. “Washed Away” is the last song on this six song album and contains some amazing guitar riffs. This guitarist explores his instrumentʼs capabilities and comes up with multiple riffs that when combined create an unbelievable song. Overall “Washed Away” sums up Alleyʼs exciting emotionally driven Progressive Death Metal style.

After listening to this album I felt like I had just returned from another world and time remained frozen while I was gone. The songs on “Amphibious” are tremendous engaging pieces of music which do carry on for rather long periods of time. This type of music is for those who enjoy endless creative Progressive Death Metal and music that explores new boundaries. If you are looking for short simple catchy songs then I think your mind might not be able to handle Alleyʼs diverse heavy complex music. I am glad to hear a band like Alley taking the genre to new levels and it will be interesting to hear what they come out with next. Short songs? I think not...

  1. Lighthouse
  2. Weather Report
  3. Amphibious
  4. Skulls & Bones
  5. Time Signal
  6. Washed Away