Acid Rain - The Descending Line,
This 2009 album was the debut full-length release from Argentinean outfit Acid Rain, with a line-up Sebastian Fernandez (vocals), Fernando Culen (guitars), Andres Blanco (keyboards, vocals), Ezequiel Gimenez (bass, vocals) and Martin Magliano (drums, percussion). Musically these guys are great, a strong melodic pomp mixed with prog – sort of Styx crossed with Dream Theater, with a high level of obvious musical virtuosity combined with great hooks that mostly make this an album to die for. I say ‘mostly’, as there is one bit that just doesn’t fit, namely the lead vocals. Sebastian does have a good voice, with a strong range, but he is way out of musical league here. His vocal style has much more in common with Dan McCafferty (okay, that is a little unfair – he’s not quite that gravelly) than James LaBrie, much more hard rock than prog.
The result is an album that is great on many levels, with guitar and keyboard interplay to die for and a great rhythm section, but it just fails at the final hurdle. This is a band that I would like to hear a lot more from, and they could actually make it as an instrumental outfit. It is powerful and certainly impressive – and hopefully we will hear much more from them in the future.