Almanac – “Tsar” (2016)


Label: Nuclear Blast

Review by Tony Cannella

The phrase “super-group” gets bandied about quite a bit – some would say overused. With that said maybe, “all-star” group would be a better way to describe the metal ensemble Almanac. Their metal pedigree is undeniable. The talent is off the charts. We have Victor Smolski (former Rage) alongside the likes of David Readman (Pink Cream 69) and Andy B. Franck (Brainstorm). In addition, female vocalist Jeannette Marchewa and a fine range of musicians join the trio. All of this and more can be heard on this projects debut album “Tsar”. “Tsar” is an ambitious record – both musically and lyrically – which comprehensively tells the story of Ivan the Terrible. The scope of this record is huge and this is just the group of musicians to pull it off. The song “Tsar” begins the story. This is a great opener, which sets the table perfectly. Next is the bombastic “Self-Blinded Eyes”. This is a hard driving song that owns a perfectly catchy chorus. Other highlights include “Hands Are Tied”, “Children of the Future” and the 8-minute “No More Shadows”. “Tsar” is definitely something that fans of symphonic power metal should eat up. It remains to be seen if Almanac will be more than just a one/off. Let’s hope it is, because it is quite clear that Almanac has something substantial to offer.

Rating – 85/100



  1. Tsar
  2. Self-Blinded Eyes
  3. Darkness
  4. Hands Are Tied
  5. Children of the Future
  6. No More Shadows
  7. Nevermore
  8. Reign of Madness
  9. Flames of Hate



  • Andy B. Franck – Vocals
  • David Readman – Vocals
  • Jeannette Marchewka – Vocals
  • Victor Smolski – Guitars
  • Enric Garcia – Keyboards and piano
  • Armin Alic – Bass
  • Michael Kolar – Drums + the Orquestra Barcelona Filharmonia

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