Alpha Tiger – iDentity
Release date: January 20, 2015
Two bottles of Prosecco and a pound of Valentine chocolates are now gone and I am crashing hard from the sugar. So, what better time then to write my latest CD review from Alpha Tiger titled iDentity (right after I apply this cold compress to my head). This marks the third full album from the quintet, behind Man or Machine (2011) and Beneath the Surface (2013). Alpha Tiger hails from some place in Germany called Freiberg in Saxony. I could be wrong on this one as the info I could locate on them is predominantly presented in…,(well) German…and I am not fluent in German (other than beers, cars and pastry)….
This fine talented band is composed of Stephen Dietrich on vocals and piano, Peter Langforth and Alexander Backasch on guitars, Dirk Frei on bass, and David Schleif on drums (four of these members were with the band Satin Black, which I am sorry to say I am not familiar with but would be very interested in hearing, though I am having trouble locating much on them.) Okay, I am rambling here–back to the band at hand. You may on first listen compare them to such awesome bands as UFO, Queensryche, Helloween, and Angra. There are hints of Iron Maiden, and even on occasion, Judas Priest (at least I that’s what I picked up). But, what I found after hanging in with them past the first few songs is that they are much more than what they appear. As I got deeper into it I noticed that these guys are truly awesome, versatile, and innovative thinkers. Their sound has evolved over the course of their first three records, making the title of this new offering, poetic…or perhaps prophetic.
The very short intro into the album is a weird sort of Disneyesque tune that has warlike sounds in the background: Echoing in a freaky Terminator, Civil War, WWII vibe. Without directly making you feel like you are actually in a dirty trench in battle. As much as I get the heartfelt message of “Lady Liberty”, and I appreciate its sentiment, I have to say it is not the best song on the album in my humble opinion (though Dietrich’s wailing vocals portend goodness to come).
The best song on here is actually the final track, “This World will Burn”. It’s amazing! And I must point out that I was getting a whiff of essence of Coheed and Cambria here. These guys are dancing with immortality on this CD and with most of the songs I just felt an inspiration to go create something, anything even if only using mashed potatoes and a fork.
Other noteworthy tracks include; “iDentity” and “Long Way of Redemption”, which has a really nice 19 seconds of lead in…And we are even shown another dimension to their talent with power ballad, “Closer Than Yesterday”; a remarkable “whoa, where did this come from?” moment. The song features some beautiful piano/keyboard playing melded with fine vocal work that is almost jazzy. Which, if I may be so bold to say, could be a whole nother direction for them to expand on a future album.
I took time out to go backwards and listen to songs off other two previous albums, and although the stuff was decent and well presented, it was “not the tastiest”. This album was much better at scratching that hard to reach “itch” if you catch my drift. Very satisfying….
I must also point out that I was also reminded at times of Triumph (the “Fight the Good Fight” early years). Full of drive, spunk and determination. All the things you want from a band that can make you feel pleased to possess ears.
I give this iDentity a resounding: Five out of Five Tiger Paws (still attached to the Tiger of course)…Entity say check it out….