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The beauty of loneliness in space - 90%

Urnoev, April 10th, 2014

While listening to atmospheric black metal releases, I do not often feel the sorrow transported with the music, which is intended most of the time, of course. It certainly is very prominent on this one, though. Sorrow can be chained together with other emotions like hate, envy, frustration, and loneliness, which makes it not very easy to listen to this stuff, but also gives it an indescribable beauty. And Alrakis manages to bring this combination of two seemingly opposite feelings to damn near perfection. And this one word just mentioned summarizes the album quite good: loneliness. An atmosphere is created where you can flow around in an endless universe with nothing but the stars around you... and it actually works for me.

Now, this is accomplished by a few simple, but effective choices made in the creation of this piece of art, the most significant being the use of long, stretched synthesizer sounds and slow, repetitive drumming, together with quite unimpressive, but professionally executed black metal riffs, so one might feel the endlessness and the lack of other things around you, an unpretentious, but effective style. Nothing is overly intrusive as these elements come and go naturally with each other.

The vocals are harsh and hardly understandable, as if someone would cry and shout in despair somewhere between here and nowhere in space. This is the way it should be and it fits the atmosphere well, although they could have been integrated better since they seem to overlap with other parts of the music. The lyrics, of course, surround the main theme - space - and contribute to the overall emotion of loneliness. And finally even the production is good...very good, considering this is a debut album of a band consisting of one member only.

The album is structured in seven long songs, each of them interesting in itself, but worthless without the others. Do not get me wrong, I only think the overall experience would lack some of its impact. When single tracks are listened to, you should take some time, sit down, and listen to this whole thing at once in order to maximize the enjoyment. This is also the reason why it is impossible to name a favourite track. The beginning felt a bit weird the first time I heard it, but was also fascinating, so wait and prepare for the sudden invasion that will convince you, no doubt. And when the two last atmospheric songs come and the music fades out, you will feel lonely, but also satisfied.

If I would have to name some flaws, it would be nothing but the already mentioned and one thing - as tempting and good this album might is, it is nothing really special or original in any sense. There are no huge surprises and no phenomenal or outstanding compositions, just a perfect mixture of the aforementioned emotions.

And this is what Alpha Eri seems to be all about.