Alpha Galates, formerly The Hollow, is a Canadian progressive metal band that originated in Medicine Hat, Alberta and is now based in Toronto, Ontario. With 'A Stimulus For Reason' they enter the major label status now from a deal with British label EMI. The album was mixed by Joe Barresi (Tool, QOTSA, The Melvins). What you have in Alpha Galates is very aggressive and progressive rock with serious metal edges. 'A Stimulus For Reason,' therefore, is hardly a dull album because it is full of complex intricacies that, at times, leave you guessing as to their direction. I was more than a bit confused because there are moments when they seem to be surrendering to music trends of their comrades south of their border. Still, there is much to enjoy on this work if only because of its natural complexity.
I don't think there is anything or any band to compare Alpha Galates to in their genre; and that is a good thing. However, there are certain qualities that remind me of their American contemporaries: often, and sometimes, severely down-tuned guitars, an over compensating and heavy rhythm section, and obvious screamo vocals prevalent in much of modern North American music. On the other hand, they tip their hats to prog rock of old even if it is wrapped in a modern package. If you could erase the vocals and simply listen to the music, you would be more than significantly impressed by their musicianship and song composition. But the vocals fit the music, and so, you and I must accept the whole package.
I've listened to 'A Stimulus For Reason' several times now and in order to appreciate the manifold diversity one must listen to this work carefully. Again, overlook the screamo vocals (when you can with the aforementioned caveats) and you will consider 'Conformity,' 'The Darkest Eyes,' Passion,' and 'Love Despair' as nearly excellent progressive metal. 'Love Despair' (great, blistering guitar work) and 'The Darkest Eyes' are especially moving numbers.
Alpha Galates enters the world market with a significant contribution to modern progressive rock and metal. If you can get over the modern 'screamo' vocals and often overly oppressive rhythm section that permeates this work, you will find some very sophisticated music and a band with a bright future.
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