Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Amma - Angel Of Love (EP) (2013)

The combination of angel references and power metal has been around since the dawn of time. While, ok, maybe not that long. But it seems to be a match made in heaven, with absolutely no pun intended. But despite the obvious shared space, it isn't always a bond that forms on it's own. Amma may have found that out the hard way. Their new EP, "Angel Of Love" has all of the right lineage and imagery. But what it has in style, it lacks in substance, sound, and structure. While the visual element has become an important part of music, it can only carry you so far without true inspiration to back it up. A debut album, for better or worse, has flaws that we must accept. But here, those flaws are too glaring to ignore. Rather than focus on the music at hand, something looks to have gone terribly wrong from the onset of this EP, something they simply could not recover. From production, to recording, to lyrical and musical content, "Angel Of Love" is one miscue after another, leaving it anything but divine.

The immediate contrast that is formed between the intro track, "Reflection," and the first real offering, the title track "Angel Of Love" is hard to swallow. The former, a grand symphonic instrumental; the latter, a flat power ballad. It isn't clear what happened to the production levels between one and the other, but there is little one can do to isolate any of the individual elements here. The layers are too compressed, too tightly packed to find space between them. In the verse and chorus, the vocals dominate; when they fade, guitars and drums fight for air time. At over six minutes, it is a tough sell for any discerning power metal fan. And while "Magical Fantasy" sees a slight improvement in volume and balance, it does little back up the title. There is a lack of energy here, at least as far as it is presented in the digital sense. Perhaps the one saving grace is the late solo piece, which gives reason to continue. Unfortunately, that decision isn't rewarded, only greeted with a mediocre finale that adopts the muffled sound of a pillow over your speaker. "Time" has lofty aspirations, layering in a choir of vocals in the chorus. But For every good idea, there is poor execution, rendering their efforts hollow. Concluding with an "Epic Version" of the title track, the same basic structure, with guitars and drums replaced with symphonics and piano keys, it feels as though you've gone around in a circle, shaped more like an egg.

There is little more one can say about an offering that has so little impact. Whether it be thanks to a poor recording job, or maybe a less than stellar set of songs, there is little about "Angel Of Love" that will resonate with anyone once the music has stopped. That is to say, it isn't good enough, or bad enough for that matter, to stick in your mind for any amount of time. And while it may not justify dismissing the band as a whole, they certainly won't find themselves on any year end lists this time around. There are many improvements that can, and must, be made if this band hopes to survive long enough to make another album. It begins with pre-production, where all of the planning and allocation takes place. And maybe, just maybe, with a stronger focus on the knobs, levers, screws, and cables, there will be something more rich, with more depth, the next time around. Otherwise, Amma might be doomed to a fate that even the angel of love won't be able to rescue them from.


Official Site - http://www.am-ma.com.ar/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/ammaangeloflove

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