An album that stands out
Release Date: June 20th, 2020
Genre: Alphamay, Future Pop, Synth Pop
Partially sounds like: Depeche Mode
The album 'Conformity' is the 4th album from the German Synth Pop band 'Alphamay'. I know and love the band as far as I can remember since their foundation. Cris Frickenschmidt has always send me the latest releases as a physical promo packed with some nice fan extras which I really appreciate and be thankful for. But of course Electrozombies is not corruptible, as you can see from the older reviews of 'The Simulation Hypothesis' and 'Twisted Lines'. Both are not bad albums, but still they did not convince me 100%. Let's see if the album 'Conformity' can beat its predecessors.
Clear and crisp
The first notes of the opener '60 Centuries' build up a good pressure. Sound technically the beat blasts somewhere between Future Pop and Cyber Goth. The catchy melody is a perfect introduction to the new album 'Conformity'. The chorus is almost radio friendly. Everything was done just right here. All in all the song sounds more balanced and clearly than all other songs before. A great start so far.
In short: The second song 'Reach Out' has a fantastic upbeat sound, but the vocals didn't convince me here. So we jump right on to the song 'Death Is Kind'. Here the whole package is more harmonic again. The bleak Dark Wave vocals fit seamlessly into the music. Here we hear more typical Synth Pop sounds in a refreshing upbeat tempo. The dynamic between the verse and chorus offers a lot of tension due to the clear separation of pitches and instrumentation.
The song 'Heir Of Eternity' gets a great 80s vibe through the bell-like melody. But in the verse we are more modern and electronically harder. The heaviness of the song seems almost weightless in the chorus because of the melody and the angelic background vocals.
Some great reward
With the song 'Conform Us' I would like to venture a first comparison in this review. Especially the beginning of the song strongly reminds of the sound of Depeche Mode of the 90s. Furthermore, the song exudes a cool electronic calmness in terms of sound, but also emotionally. From the synth sounds one of my highlights on the album 'Conformity'.
Like the emergence of a clearing, the song 'Diorama Story' fits into the album 'Conformity'. Cool and clear the way is predetermined for the melody and the beat. At least it feels as if you already know the song and the structure, even though you are listening to it for the first time. But there's nothing wrong with that, because it's a simple and honest Synth Pop song that's immediately appealing.
'Caleidoscope' has two faces. First you hear a dramatic intro (first verse), which wouldn't be more fitting for a melancholic ballad. Arriving in the middle of the album, that would certainly be something I would have expected. But then it turns out completely different in the first chorus and the tempo gains momentum, the basic mood at least remains. In the second verse we fall into this deep gloomy void again and we fight our way forward only sluggishly. Here 'Alphamay' creates a super exciting dynamic of ballad and upbeat chorus. A surprising variety and a great song.
'Silence Of The Youth' begins playfully and the intro takes its time. I am already excited about the direction the song will take. With the use of the first vocals I have to say that I'm not a big fan of electronically distorted/tuned voices. But this subtle robot-like undertone fits the sound incredibly well. So I can fully understand the creative decision for it. The good thing is, that the vocals in the chorus get back into the auricle in a nice and clear way.
The track 'Follow Me' is the first Single of the album 'Conformitiy' and was already released in January 2019. The strengths of the song are clearly in the chorus, the verses and the bridge are admittedly a bit weaker.
The second single 'Afterglow' has, I think, the coolest Alphamay music video ever. Bold beats and a significant Future Pop impact make the song extremely danceable. The used synths revive a wonderful oldschool dark disco era memory without seeming copied. Here they play subtly with clichéd elements of our scene, but 'Afterglow' is 100% authentic and manages to sound independent.
The songs 'Good Old Days' and 'Mirror Moon' play in good midfield. But due to the album positioning, the band is well aware of their weaknesses and strengths. So I don't have to go into this further.
Are Alphamay in perfect harmony now?
The album 'Conformity' is for me personally the best produced and most varied album of 'Alphamay' so far. Of course there are still a few edges here and there where you literally bump into. This may be due to my own taste in music, but at least I can see a steady increase in musical performance. If you liked the last 'Alphamay' albums well, then you can take it without hesitation.