This is the official debut album of Italians Aleph, and although it hasn’t been my first choice to spin in my player in the past few months, it surely has some qualities that makes it rise above the average, and makes me return to listen to it
According to my thesaurus the album title “In Tenebra” means “In Darkness”, and that’s very appropriate considering the mood of this album, it bears a dark tone all through the album, both when the music is slow and moody or thrashy and tense.
The soundscapes they create are complex yet flowing nicely most of the time - It’s clearly in the slow and mid paced parts that Aleph has their strongest side, sometimes even sounding in both music and singing like the genius works of Pain Of Salvation, Dream Theater and Opeth – the musicmanship of these parts is generally brilliant. In the faster thrashier parts there’s room for improvement – there they’re generally quite average, sounding somewhat 80’s like…not that it’s a disqualifying factor, but compared to the (slower) more progressive parts it comes off a bit primitive.
I have some difficulties to find out when this album is originally released, but I think the release date mentioned above is a re-release date, since there’s a note in the press material, that on November the 2nd 2006 the album has been released for two months (in Italy) – but actually, who cares, as long as it’s now out to a larger public.
I don’t quite get why the release notes mostly is about the who’s and when’s of the numerous line-up changes since the birth of the band in 1998; to me it’s not very interesting who was a part of the band for a few rehearsals and so on…Important is if they have a steady line-up that can develop their sound and composing to become one of the stronger progressive acts of southern Europe, surely this album shows that they have the potential.
The cover art I can only describe as uninspired, dark and pretty uninteresting (at least on the copy that I’ve got) – with a band like this one could expect a better cover that reflects the musical mood, and perhaps tells a story.
If you’re into progressive metal with a harder edge, and want a new band to observe for the future, you ought to check out Aleph.
Recommended tracks: Unfaithful and Depths (neither seems to be between 9 and 10 minutes, as they actually are…)