A power metal band originating from the sprawling metropolis of Osaka, Aldious have been releasing stellar albums for a decade. Now, with new vocalist R!N on board, the band are undertaking a fresh start and, as evidence of their rejuvenation, release their second self-covers album Evoke II: 2010-2020. An assortment of classics tracks is given new context by R!N who pushes the band in a heavier direction, a move which is sure to win Aldious many new admirers.
Metal fans are notoriously loyal and conservative so it’s always a risk when their heroes swap singers. But long term fans needn’t worry as it’s the same Aldious only with R!N’s warm, walnut textured vocals finding the group less cutesy and more crushing. Any fears that Aldious have lost their magic should immediately be allayed by the jack-hammer riff that heralds the arrival of Luft. Originally appearing on 2010’s Deep Excited album it’s rendered far weightier by R!N whose voice provides a nice foil to the bright and shiny Iron Maiden twin-guitar styling.
Creating all sorts of havoc in the space between your speakers is Re:Fire. Something of an artillery barrage it arrives with all guitars firing and drums that detonate like depths charges. However, a brief ambient interlude adds a moment of respite in the maelstrom and only serves to highlight the metal which bookends the song. Another rocker follows in the shape of Believe Myself (also from 2015’s Radiant A opus) and it’s not until we reach the fourth track, the appropriately titled Reincarnation, that the band ease off the throttle a little. Opened and closed with a beautiful acoustic motif the ferocious melee in between trades speed for power and creates an interesting tension of opposites.
Throughout Evoke II: 2010-2020 the interplay between guitarists Yoshi and Toki is exceptional and most definitely on Confusion. Performing together for 10 years has developed a chemistry that borders on telepathy and they trade soaring solos and raucous riffs in double quick time and with apparent ease. Those who never dig beneath the surface of Aldious’ glamorous presentation are seriously missing out on some great music and tracks like White Crow could quite easily hang with classic Judas Priest.
Although a compilation, this album has a tracklisting that runs like a regular record and it ululates perfectly over its 41 minutes from the rapid-fire opener to ethereal closer Fragile. It’s an emotive finale that soars like an eagle on a breeze that suggests closure and a new beginning. Likewise, Evoke II: 2010-2020 closes one volume of a book and starts a brand new chapter.
Evoke II: 2010-2020 Tracklisting:
3. Believe Myself
5. Kanasii Otoko
7. White Crow
Evoke II: 2010-2020 (European Edition) is released by JPU Records on 29th January 2021*