Spanish Progressive Rock Project ALMS Signs With Epictronic | Epictronic

July 21, 2022

Spanish Progressive Rock Project ALMS Signs With Epictronic


No Comments

Spanish Progressive Rock Project ALMS has signed a licensing deal with Epictronic for the reissue of the album “The Trial”, due for re-release on August 26th, 2022. ALMS, speaking of the album and his project, said: It is of great pleasure for me to announce that my new album, ‘The Trial’, is about to be released by Epictronic Records. I’m really looking forward to working with them and excited about what may come from this and where it will lead us. The story behind ‘The Trial’ begins under the covid lockdown. I had been reading ‘The little treaty of the big vices’, by José Antonio Marina, a psychological essay about the roots of Evil and the Seven Deadly Sins. Thinking about how, historically, religions have always played a decisive role in conducting human behavior against our own nature, the idea of a dialogue between God and Alms on this matter was very appealing to me. This led me to other lectures, including the Holy Bible, which gave me more perspective on the topic as I managed to put my own ideas in order. That is how ‘The Trial’ was born: Alms was about to face God’s judgment for committing the Seven Deadly Sins, while he would claim his human nature as a part of himself, the essential part without which existence is not possible. This time, I counted on the following collaborators: Rafa Yugueros (drums), Carla Martín (violin), Julia Sariego (choirs), Alain Frenette (French narrations), and María Volkova (God’s voice). Everything else was recorded by myself at my own home studio, taking charge of the mixing as well. The mastering was made by Mario G. Alberni, and the artwork was made by Layo M. Beiro, a truly gifted artist and a good friend of mine. It is important to mention that, besides the front and back cover of the album, Layo painted a series of illustrations that depict his own vision of each and every sin, all of them included in the booklet. With a structure following the operatic format, ‘The Trial’ is a concept album that can be labeled as Symphonic Progressive Rock, in which besides the classic-rock elements, instruments such as flutes, mandolin, oboe or violin contribute to creating the atmosphere and landscapes of each and every passage. It is a very heterogeneous album in its style, as I drink from many different influences: folk, rock, classical music… all of them converge to make ‘The Trial’. I hope you like it! Alms is my personal musical project. In fact, the name ‘Alms’ is the acronym for ‘Aitor Lucena Martinez Solo’. I was born in Asturias, in the north of Spain, on the 5th of September in 1986. With no siblings, and being the only child in my rural village, I’ve grown up listening to the albums of bands such as Supertramp, Kansas, or Jethro Tull that my father and older cousin owned. In fact, listening to music was almost my only activity apart from my school duties -which I hated-, and it was quite easy to find me sitting alone with my headphones, absorbed, in the cathartic state of mind that music-induced me. I felt it was somehow ‘magical’ that those people could create such beautiful sounds, rhythms, harmonies, and melodies and put them into a cassette, LP, or CD so we could all listen to them whenever we wanted to, and I was determined to find out the secrets of that ‘magic’. As a teenager, and living in a bigger town, I discovered Heavy Metal and started listening to bands such as Iron Maiden, Blind Guardian, and Helloween. I became obsessed with their powerful sound and their tough appearance and, soon, I became a true metal-head -you know, long hair, leather jacket, big boots, spiked bracelets…- and joined the ‘metal tribe’. This was a decisive inflection point for me, as I started hanging out with other lads like me that had the same musical concerns and we were determined to learn how to play a musical instrument and how to make music. Unsparingly, I tortured my parents with the plea of buying me a guitar so to learn how to play, and I remember them telling me ‘well, if you pass all your exams, we’ll buy you a guitar and you’ll take guitar lessons. And though I didn’t fulfill my part of the deal, they did it anyway. After one year of taking music and guitar lessons, I finally joined a band at the age of 16. We were all very young, amateur enthusiastic musicians willing to learn and share our passion. We began playing covers of our idols and, soon, I started writing my own songs. Those were very simple and naïve songs, but the feeling of writing and playing them was so gratifying that I knew I would do that forever, and I was determined to improve my skills in order to compose better music. By the age of 20, my interest in Heavy Metal had withered away. From then on, my attention has been paid to more complex and challenging kinds of music, and I soon got into Progressive Rock. I was really impressed by the music of bands such as Yes, Gentle Giant or Van Der Graaf Generator. With no band, I kept on learning and writing songs which, little by little, were getting more and more ambitious. Many times I tried to form a band, but always failed, as Progressive Rock seemed to be very ‘outdated’ for most of the musicians I tried to gather with. So I started to think of an alternative: I would record my music on my own. To achieve this goal, I would need to learn many new skills that would be vital in my development as a musician. With the little funds I earned working as a music teacher, I got myself a humble home studio -basically, a recording software, two cheap microphones, and a crappy audio interface- and some cheap instruments. I could compose and play the guitar quite well; I could also record bass guitar and keyboards, but I would need to learn how to record my music in a professional way, so I started studying a Grade in Sound Engineering in order to get the most from my home studio. Meanwhile, I also took flute lessons so I could add another instrument to my compositions, and I learned how to use some drum samplers in order to be able to ‘program’ percussion lines. With all these, in 2012 I was ready to start my solo project. Alms had been born and, in 2013, I managed to release my first album, ‘Beyond’, under the Progressive Rock label Musea Records, an instrumental symphonic journey through the afterlife, all recorded, mixed, and mastered by myself in my room, in my parents’ house, where I lived by then. ‘Beyond’ was well received by the audience, and soon I started to work on my next album. It was in 2016 when I released my second album, ‘An Irosmic Tragedy’. It can be understood as the ‘prequel’ to ‘Beyond’, as it is a symphonic journey through life with some operatic parts in which Life (played by Noelia Fernández) and Alms (played by myself) performed a dialogue. Again, I recorded, mixed, and mastered almost everything on my own, but this time I could count on some collaborators to record some of the instruments: Luis Arnaldo (drums), Eduardo G. Salueña (keyboards), Héctor Braga (violin) and Noelia Fernández (Life’s voice) made it possible to record an album with no samplers, making it sound more organic, and Pepe Boada took charge of the artwork. ‘An Irosmic Tragedy’ was auto-produced and released under no label. Again, the album was well received and supposed another qualitative step in my career. After ‘An Irosmic Tragedy’, I felt that I needed to give Alms a rest and started studying a Grade in Musicology, as I wanted to go a step further in my composition skills. Meanwhile, I managed to form a Pop-Rock band with some friends: Lumberjack. The project lasted almost four years and we recorded only one album, ‘Decider’ (2019), which was well appreciated in our local scene. And then came the COVID-19, and the band dismembered. Confined, working from home, and psychologically unstable, I felt I needed to wake Alms up and start composing again and, after two years of hard work, ‘The Trial’ was released in April 2022. It is an operetta in which Alms is judged by God for committing the Seven Deadly Sins. This time, I counted on the following collaborators: Rafa Yugueros (drums), Carla Martín (violin), Alain Frenette (narrations), Julia Sariego (backing vocals), and Maria Volkova (lead vocals as God). The artwork was made by Layo M. Beiro, and Mario G. Alberni took charge of the mastering. READ MORE