Alley – The Weed

While waiting for the new Opeth album to be released later in the Fall, coincidentally (through YouTube) I found this Russian quartet and their debut released in 2008, thus I found them interesting enough to add to Progstravaganza V. The band’s co-founder, Egor Moskkvichev forwarded me a downloadable copy of this recording and after tons of listening the thing that is more than obvious is – these guys WORSHIP Opeth 24/7/365.

The Weed is very close to Opeth’s Blackwater Park era, which has been my favorite for years until it was dethroned by 2007′s Ghost Reveries. Paying tribute to these gurus of progressive death metal is not an easy task. Alley is not a blind copy, a rip-off or unoriginal in any way. If someone would play this album to you without telling you the name of the band you would possibly say that these are some of the outtakes from the Still Life / Blackwater Park period.

The Weed is comprised of seven songs, totalling a bit more than 60 minutes. Interestingly, the track durations gets lengthier as the album gets closer to its end, with Hessian of Rime as an exception, setting the way for the opening instrumental piece Duhkha clocking to 4’44”, while the closing Days for Gray (included on the Progstravaganza V) gets over 14 minutes limit. Hessian of Rime is a bit different from a classic Opethian approach, the vocals are much more blackened and closer to Orchid.

Alley’s The Weed is more than a good warm-up for the Watershed’s follow-up and a nice shot for all those who miss the older Opeth works.


1. Duhkha (04:44)
2. Coldness (05:58)
3. Dust Layer (09:11)
4. Hessian of Rime (07:21)
5. Fading Fall (10:23)
6. Jaded Mirrored (11:21)
7. Days For Gray (14:35)
* Andrey Evtugin – Vocals, Guitar
* Egor Moskvichev – Guitar
* Sergey Lednikov – Bass
* Valery Kuzmin – Drums
Nikola Savić is a prog enthusiast, blogger and author, in addition to being the founder of Prog Sphere, Progify, ProgLyrics and the ongoing Progstravaganza compilation series.

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