I was smiling ear-to-ear the whole way. Rochester’s Acrylazea have just birthed a frontrunner for my local album of the year and it’s only February. What we have here is exactly as the title states: A Cavalcade of Cosmic Calamity. Furthering their exploration of avant-garde metal, these swashbuckling pirates have certainly upped their game. I should mention right off the bat that this album features a guest vocal appearance from none other than Tim “Ripper” Owens (Judas Priest, Iced Earth + numerous others) on track 2, “The Terrible Tale of Dr. Heinzlmensch”.
I witnessed my first Acrylazea set on December 7th, 2019, at The Metal Webzine’s 4th Annual Holiday Show. Friends, whether you’re taking in a live performance or listening to an album, they are a musical experience like no other. The band perfectly fuses together melodic death metal, folk metal, traditional heavy metal, and power metal. Complete with steampunk esque pirate theme, Acrylazea have invented their own characters and correlating stage presence to make their music as much a visual experience as it is an audible one. Now if you’re thinking that this is just another Alestorm or Ensiferum ripoff, you are sorely mistaken. Acrylazea are without a doubt one of the most original metal bands I’ve heard come out of Western New York in recent years. This is because the personalities of the members have just as much to do with their sound as their musicianship does.
All the great signatures of European metal and even European classical music can be found in these songs. There is a certain neoclassical edge to this entire album that completes its pirate and folklore driven formula. Chief among Acrylazea’s strongest points on this album are vocal diversity and exceptional riff writing and lead guitar playing. The vocals compliment the erratic, bombastic nature of the band’s orchestral and piano arrangements perfectly, while showcasing a variety of clean and harsh vocal ranges. As mentioned earlier, Tim “Ripper” Owens sits perfectly in the audio mix for track 2 because of the expertly layered, multidimensional clean vocals happening throughout the album. At the same time, “The Eye” brings forth searing solos and sweep picking passages that further accent the bursts of neoclassical mania this album wears on its sleeve.
For newcomers to Acrylazea, I would have to liken them to Blind Guardian, Alestorm, Korpiklaani, Ne Obliviscaris and Symphony X, but naturally, many listeners will perceive them differently because of how much stylistic diversity the band wields. Fans of the aforementioned should check out Acrylazea immediately. To not do so would be a disservice to your music library.
A Cavalcade of Cosmic Calamity hits the world on March 12, 2021. But for now, check out Acrylazea via the following links:
The Captain: Lead Vocals
Sirius J. Axion: Guitars, Vocals, Keys
The Eye: Guitars, Vocals, Keys, Music Production
Prof. V.V. Olfenstein: Bass, Vocals
Byron Nova: Drums, Vocals
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Author: Mike Marlinski