There’s a really good chance you’ll be familiar with ALAZKA. It's the new name of the German band Burning Down Alaska and they've returned with a new album called Phoenix to support this new era, and it’s as fitting a choice for an album name as possible to describe this new era for the band. Opening up with 'Echoes', a short introduction of voices whispering, announcing what's next, and the leading into 'Ghost' this one-two punch of melodic hardcore is evidence that ALAZKA are still the exact type of band you want them to be. All the while still being highlighted by the instantly recognisable clean vocal of Kassim Auale.
Auale's clean vocals and Tobias Rische's screams blend together effortlessly, as highlighted in 'Empty Throne', the first single under their new name. The catchy track was a wise choice from the band as it's probably one of the most outstanding of the album, strengthening their new path. While the more relaxed 'Everglow', also stands out - but in a slightly differing way to the other tracks on the record highlighted by the shiver goose-bump inducing voice of Auale. ALAZKA certainly know how to give a human side to their music. Phoenix has a real beating heart and hits on an emotional level constantly, such as the rhythmic 'Legacy', ending with a beautiful choir. And how can we not talk about ALAZKA if we're not going to mention the incredible 'Blossom'? The song has shaped and started the new identity of the Germans as much as any other element of the band with it's incredibly hooking chorus. Together, ALAZKA have built a sound that has its own identity and they faithfully continue to assume it. They've created something that's a mix of a beautiful vocals duo, and from time to time, supported by choirs, which gives an other originality to their melodic sound. Phoenix is an album that has its own universe. Hard work is seen here as the quintet have shaped their own sound, yet brought something new in each song to make it remarkable. The record as a whole however still a bit of immaturity in its musicality though and the band still need to evolve in this sense. But even at this early stage, ALAZKA are setting themselves up to be a melodic hardcore group with a phenomenal future. Score: 7/10 Facebook:/alazkaofficial Twitter: @alazkaband