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Amalia Bloom

Picturesque

Review by Gary Hill

First, let me say that although the moniker looks like the name of a woman, this is a band, not a solo artist, and it's all men. The sound here has some interesting angles. There is definitely an alternative rock basis to much of it. It gets into punk zones and even extreme metal and hardcore ones. Yet there are some proggy things that show up here and there. The balance of leanings here seems hard to pull it off, but they make it work. This is an effective set from start to finish.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 5. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
To bide time
This pounds in fierce and heavy. It turns to more of a powerhouse alternative rocker with blasts of real fury. This is raw, but melodic at the same time. It's a careful balancing act. There is even a journey into some music later that has a heavy and almost proggy vibe, but some extreme metal vocals come in over the top. The cut gets back closer to earlier zones from there, but it's more intense and the vocals have the screamed delivery at times. Yet almost symphonic prog things creep in here and there. They take it into a down-tuned metal zone for a short bit at the end of the track.
Sleeping beauty
As this comes in it still has both the alternative rock rawness, but also a definite melodic elements. The chorus takes it toward rawer punk zones. This gets intense and furious as it continues, but it doesn't have as wide a range or as many changes as the previous track did.
On canvas
Fierce, raw and angry, this still manages to pull off that melodic thing, too. There is a mellower, dropped back movement on this thing. That builds outward into more melodic alternative rock after having some screamed vocals. It works out to a powered up alternative jam that has some hints of post-prog. There are both clean and screamed vocals as this drives forward. It's a powerhouse.
Violet
A serious burst of anger brings this in with an extreme metal meets hardcore approach. That's tempered by more melodic alternative rock, which at first plays counter to the heavier approach and then takes over. This turns heavier and rawer as it marches onward later.
Silhouettes
Energetic and yet more on the melodic side, even though it has some raw distortion, this comes in with solid alternative rock style. The chorus has some blasts of screamed, extreme metal meets hardcore concepts. The track continues its musical exploration with variations on the two concepts from there.
Analog you
Coming in much mellower, this has percussion at the back of a fairly sedate musical arrangement. It reminds me of the moodier side of Radiohead. This works within that zone really feeling a lot like some of the neo-prog bands. The cut rises up a little as it continues, but in general it remains pretty close to its origins, serving as a bit of a respite.
Whimsical
Coming in with an almost blues rock angle and a rather stripped back concept, this cut works forward as a tasty alternative rock piece. It explodes out into furious, screaming hot angst further down the musical path.
At a crossroads
Pounding in there is a hard-core meets extreme metal approach as this gets underway. The cut works to more of an alternative rock vibe from there. It works on variants on those concepts from there.
Memorial
Fast paced and melodic yet raw as it gets underway, this turns toward screaming stuff shortly. It remains in that sort of zone for a good chunk of the track, but then it drops to a mellower movement for one of the song's vocal sections. It eventually begins an upward drive from there to heavier stuff. It gets seriously heavy again before it's over.
Rockabye
Now we get a real ballad treatment. An acoustic guitar-based structure brings it in. The vocals come in over the top of that. Eventually other instruments join and this has an almost Beatles-like thing going at times. It never turns toward the raw zones of the rest of the album, though, instead remaining in a more 1970s melodic rock zone, even when it moves from the more balladic zones.
 
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