Altura - Mercy

Year of Release: 1996
Label: Magna Carta
Catalog Number: MA-9014-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 48:11:00

Firmly in the footsteps of big brother Dream Theater, yet lightyears ahead of bands such as Ivanhoe is Altura whose Mercy leaves behind a very big impression! Lots of breaks and rhythm changes allows us to also compare their music with the great output by Rush. I'm sure this will also have something to do with the often high-pitched vocals of Rain Irving. Listen to "Horizons Fade" and you know what I mean. In fact you could place his voice between that of James LaBrie (Dream Theater) and that of Ted Leonard (Enchant).

What you get is an iron voice replenished with a murdering rhythm section and sparing flashes of guitar backed by a sea of keyboards. Unfortunately the band doesn't succeed to write a catchy melody which is the big contrast with Dream Theater. After listening to this Mercy not a lot of the material sticks to your mind so you'll need a second hearing. But that surely is no punishment!

After heavy thunder and the sound of fragments of glass, opener "Mercy" contains everything we need to know about this band: power, technical prowess, superb sounds, heavy outbursts - progmetal in the best tradition which will please fans of prog rock and fans of metal alike. Produced by Robert Berry, this means that apart from the omnipresent guitars there is also sufficient place for keyboards. As in most cases with Magna Carta releases there is a "magnum opus" including every trick from the golden book: "Alone." Opening with classical piano the song makes way for some impressive heavy guitars in order to end in a very bombastic orchestral finish.

A remarkable debut from a very promising band. [Who then split up before ever releasing a follow up. Released by Roadrunner in Europe (cat no. 8864). See also Steph's review of this same title. -ed.]]

Mercy (6:01) / The Calling (5:37) / One By One (5:24) / The Continuum (2:47) / Horizons Fade (5:25) / One Dimension (7:24) / Alternate Lines (6:03) / Alone (10:50)

Jeremy Osbourne - bass
Franklin Ervin - guitar
Chad Gibson - drums and percussion
Jason Lingle - keyboards and vocals
Rain Irving - vocals

Mercy (1996)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: March 6th 2001
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Hits: 993
Language: english


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