'Next To Parallel'
Released: 27th September 2011
A slightly more metal Alter Bridge with the same concentration on catchy choruses and simple honest songwriting. Wally Woods' vocals occasionally dip into an accented southern twang, but it doesn't detract from the over-emotional heartfelt lyrics – although that may just be my bias. His voice is a cross between the sung moments of Disturbed's David Draiman and Alter Bridge's Miles Kennedy. A very easy listening and appealing combo.
The band love their effects, and the guitars and vocals are awash with them. Despite this, the guitar work still sounds clear and focused, and the words cut through. The production values are very high, achieving a good balance between all instruments.
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It doesn't quite sound like a million-pound recording, but you'd have to be Simon Cowell to have any honest complaints. The musicianship is excellent, nothing stood out to me as godlike but it's clear a great deal of thought went into getting the songs right.
It's feel-good Metal. Even 'Dead And Cold' has an uplifting 'let's get out the Hoover and start moving' drive to it. You just can't help wanting to sing along even before you know the words. It's quite intoxicating from the get-go.
OK, the album didn't set my heart alight or fix a grin on my face that made my cheeks hurt, but I believe that's just down to the familiar feel of what the band has to offer. Everything on the album is just right, just so, right notes right on time.
Allele have achieved that rare feat of producing an album without a skip track. It may not be cutting a new groove, but I'd go as far as to say it's worth putting your hand in your pocket and picking up a copy.
The CD wouldn't be in my car stereo for months on end, but I'd certainly pick it out.