A Monument to Time is the 3rd full-length CD by Altamadum and features 12 tracks, varying from heavy rock pieces to slower not quite ballads. Band members Brendan Byers (Drums/Percussions), James Cole (Bass Guitar), Sam Mucha (Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar) and Cam Thomas (Lead Guitar) hail from Thunder Bay (that’s in Canada) and have been together since 2007.
Listening to these 12 tracks, you get a sense of modern and classic rock influences… Avenged Sevenfold spring to mind, along with a bit of latter-day Iron Maiden. Although the opener, ‘Left Behind’, has a twin guitar opening reminiscent of Victim of Changes but closes with a very Maiden sound. The drums are spoilt by overuse of the crash cymbal – annoying habit of many modern drummers, in my opinion.
‘Live In My Memory’ has a fantastic bass line underlying a Rush-like structure. ‘Who Have I Become’ has a slower start with an acoustic guitar bringing sensitivity to a well thought out song. ‘Find Your Way’ is my current favourite. It’s a 6-minute exploration of sounds with an almost proggy approach. A great guitar solo suffers from being part of the fade. ‘Fight To Be Free’ again conjures a Priest-like echo with the twin guitar progression. Lifeline sounds like it was written by Steve Harris in its opening phrases and tempo changes. ‘Take Me Away Again’ has a lovely acoustic intro before Sam gives his best performance with neat multi-tracking. A lovely ballad. Album closer, ‘The Phoenix’, cranks volume back up with another Maiden opening, building into a ‘classic’ rock track.
So what we have is a competent band with some very good musicianship on display. Vocally, there are times when Sam could do with keeping in his natural register. When he does he has an agreeable style like Michael Monroe at his best. The production is a bit muddy but there is sufficient clarity to hear the individual instruments – too much so on the way the crash must have been miked! There is plenty to enjoy on this album if you like your rock with a Maiden tinge and a symphonic metal approach, look no further.