The Fifth Alliance were formed in late 2006 in Bruda, Netherlands. Their sound is a mixture of doom, sludge and hardcore. The members include Silvia on vocals, Niels and Ivo on guitars, Rudd on bass and Ashwin on drums.
Although the band was conceived back in 2006, their full length Unrevealed Secrets Of Ruin came out only 7 seven years later, in April 2013 on Demons Run Amok due to line-up changes and various other setbacks. Their previous releases consist of 2007’s self-released EP Fear Consumption and 2009’s Reflections On Consciousness EP in 2009 released through Crossfirecult Records.
What we have here is 7 songs, almost 40 minutes of angst-ridden music. The lyric themes, as the band themselves stated in the context of an interview on idioteq.com (check here http://www.idioteq.com/the-fifth-allian ... but-album/), include “blind consumption and the lack of consideration in peoples choices and therefore not seeing the impact on earth, human- or animal welfare, and basically the overall self-destructive nature of man, also issues like isolation, loss, organized religion and acts being justified in the name of..”.
The intro that introduces the listener to the first song, 10-minute “Hollow,” one of the two best tracks on this album, is absolutely haunting. It makes you feel that something important is going to happen here, and within seconds the first scream kicks in. The guitars are slow and heavy, building up the tension, offering us Ιsis-like riffs especially somewhere in the middle.
All songs feature long and really interesting intros, all well as frequent rhythmic twists, continuously staggering between quiet and violent. You can feel the negativity, as well as the peace, and their influences, going from sludge to hardcore to post-metal, find their way to your ears now and then. For example, the title track follows the hardcore path, whereas instrumental “Intermezzo” is absolutely dreamlike, making us think of post-metal, even post-rock, as the melodies quite oddly reminded me of God is an Astronaut at the end of the track.
My second favourite track standing next to “Hollow” would be the closing one, called “Standing Tall”. From the killer electric intro, to the little punk part that hits you at 01:50, this is a good track. I really loved the drums here, they play a dominating role throughout the whole album, but this particular track surprised me with blast beats, giving a whole new dynamic to it. Being the last song, the track fades out and the album comes to a halt.
Unfortunately, there is a “but” to all this. The part I really didn’t like about this album are the vocals. They are aggressive and furious, but in a different way than one would expect to find in a sludge/doom band. They instantly made me think of brutal hardcore, coming from the New York area, and didn’t fit the background music at all to my ears. Having listened to this record, I’d like them to be deeper, Dark Castle-like, or more atmospheric, as in the likes of Kylesa.
The music hits you hard and it hits you good, the vocals kind of ruined it for me though. Listen to Unrevealed Secrets Of Ruin and find out yourself.
6.0 / 10
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