There’s a lot to Alazka that suggests big things could one day come their way. A keen ear for unashamed and unrestrained grandiosity, the sort of malleability needed to suitably blend sweeping alt-rock with metalcore without it sounding forced and, perhaps most importantly of all, a fairly unique and memorable moniker.
Perhaps the thing they lack the most is the sense of timing. The scope that ‘Phoenix’ has is undoubtedly impressive, but it’s difficult to get through this album without thinking that it would be much more suited coming from the early 2010s, rubbing shoulders with Young Guns on one side and Bring Me The Horizon on the other. And when it comes to the wispy, delicate guitar lines paired with exponentially more forceful screams on ‘Empty Throne’ and ‘Everglow’, plus how ‘Hearts Of Gold’ skims by on bluster alone, Alazka feel as though they’re pulling from a well that’s long since been emptied.
That’s not to say that ‘Phoenix’ is all bad though. It does have its moments, the band manage to capture the frailty of their guitars to an almost perfect level, and on the likes of the title track, it makes for an area of melody that borders on stunning. There’s definitely a seed of an idea here, and in isolated moments across ‘Phoenix’, it does show evidence of beginning to bloom.
That’s why it’s not worth writing Alazka off just yet. What they’re doing may feel dated or derivative in places, but at its core, there’s potency and power that, if built on, could see this band thrive. ‘Phoenix’ mightn’t be the watertight start, but it’s going somewhere at least.
‘Phoenix’ by Alazka is released on 1st September on Arising Empire.
Words by Luke Nuttall (@nuttall_luke)