Usual Sun-Signed intro, welcome to our weekly look at the best unsigned bands the metal world has to offer (or the best out of what band/PR companies contacted us and made our lives easier). This week is the turn of a one man band from the Netherlands, Algos. If you like your death metal mixed with elements of doom, prog and every genre under the sun, this is for you.
You know you’re in for a good time when you see something like the following.
“Line-up: Jurre Timmer – everything”
There seems to a sort of rule that when an album is an entirely one man project, there’s an element of madness in the music. Whether this is due to the stress of producing an entire album on your own or just having so much music in your head that it all comes spilling out I don’t know, but it’s always good to listen to. You also need to subconsciously prepare yourself to be slightly annoyed that you’re not producing solo albums, it really does ruin the “oh, I’m just waiting on a *instrument* player excuse we all know, love and use far too often.
Jurre Timmer is the brainchild of Algos, a one man death/doom metal project. Having released two Eps already (Misery Loves Solitude and Fragmented, both 2014), Timmer recently released the first full length album for Algos, The Death of Seasons.
Boasting 66 minutes of atmospheric metal with “many different moods and genres across its 12 tracks,” we were more than up for giving The Death of Seasons its time on the speakers.
Listen while you read, the magic of digital media!
Following Canvas, an instrumental atmosphere builder, Realm of Madness delivers on the promise of an element of madness we mentioned previously. A piano/guitar duet fitting of a horror movie circus builds up to the big death metal kick in and with that we’re off. One thing you’ll notice early is Timmer has a good control of his growls, able to go from guttural lows to more melodic, almost black metal highs.
The promise of different moods and genres is readily delivered also. Following Realm of Madness is Wanderer. While a clean guitar opens the track, a folkish guitar lick with a Celtic overtone is the main melody for the initial section of the song, then there’s a burst of harmonised classic metal, elements of neo-classical (we like our sub-genres in metal) and a piano/synth line that combined with an acoustic guitar, borders on a Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack sound (though we don’t go the full Alestorm). All of this pulled together by the ever present death metal framework with blast beats and growls separating the variety of genres.
Considering the above is just five minutes of on eight minute song, which is the third track out of a twelve track album, it’s safe to say that Algos really meant the different moods and genres statement. While I could dissect and discuss every song, I’ll avoid that (mainly because we’re not very far into the album and the word count is already growing) and pick out some of the key areas I enjoyed that will hopefully convince you to pick this up.
One reason could be the pretty artwork
A main point is the overall song writing, with so much going on it would be easy to lose focus with sounds and genres fighting for attention. Instead they complement each other, sometimes blending in ways you wouldn’t expect to work. It would also be easy to lose focus considering it’s a one man band. While it does allow total freedom of expression, there is also no one to say “no” to an idea, thankfully this isn’t an issue with no weak track to speak of on the release.
One of the sounds I particularly enjoyed on the album was the clean piano, featuring prominently in tracks like Autumn’s End (another instrumental atmospheric builder), it has a very warm tone often not heard in metal, especially this type of metal. The guitar tone is also a winner, dirty enough to fit the doom and death element, clean enough to allow for licks and riffs that stand out instead of becoming a muddy soup.
While the drums don’t sound the most authentic thing in the world, they’re by no means distracting (though in tracks like The Flood you may notice it more than others). If the day comes though when Timmer gets a full on drummer with full on production, you know that the sound will be deadly.
People who say “metal is dead” clearly need to look at the underground, with projects such as Algos turning out music like this; the genre is a long, long way from the grave. You can listen for yourself over at Bandcamp, where you can also buy a physical CD or a digital version. If you’re at all stuck in a rut with your listening habits, Algos could very easily break you out.
Line-Up: Jurre Timmer
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