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The Black Road... well done. - 95%

Basilisk, November 27th, 2009

Ambehr are not a well-known band. That being said, they probably should be. They play tight folk-influenced melodies; some of their songs actually sound pretty thrashy, while others are more akin to power-metal. There are also some beautiful ballads on this album. The genre might be a little hard to pin down, however it’s quite a well-rounded album, all said.

I’d heard a few songs from their earlier albums, I liked them, so I got this album and I’m sure glad I did. This band has definitely come together nicely. The production on this album is excellent. The melodies are well-crafted and everything works well together. The female vocals add a very welcome element, but they are not presented as the focus of the music. Sometimes they are accompanied by clean male vocals; sometimes the male vocals take center stage and occasionally even turn into to harsh vocals.

The instruments are well done too. The guitars rip along and the solos have really nice flavour. In the occasional ballad-like pieces, keys and acoustics round out the sound. The songs can switch from fast to slow abruptly, but without jarring the listener. It flows quite nicely. The melodies of the songs are consistently memorable and appealing, whether the tone is sad, happy, angry, or uplifting, and they tend to have Russian/Armenian (let’s just say Eastern European) nuances. It’s not blatant injections of folk music; it’s more of an underlying character that ties the music together and gives it both spirit and individuality.

I can’t really name songs that stood out because they are spelt with a different alphabet, but honestly, pretty much every song on this album is amazing and worth listening to over and over again. That’s the sign of a great album. That must mean this is a great album. It’s well crafted; the quality of the songs and their production is praiseworthy. Any criticism? Perhaps there was one too many slow song. Track 6 didn’t stand out. Great album nonetheless.