Now, you might wonder what that paragraph had to do with the album I'm about to review here. Well, in a way both Primus and Danny Elfman come to mind when I listened to it for the first time. That is not really a coincidence since 'Fear From The Skies' is actually a compilation of hard rock and heavy metal induced horror stories with a firm focus on that creepy atmosphere and a lot of bass guitar driven weirdness. This band from India has obviously made something interesting.
After a short intro, the album opens with 'The Raptorsville Fair'. It's mainly this song that brings out the Elfman meets Primus reference by blending heavy metal with a waltz-like tempo and bizarre vocals. Another band that comes to mind here is 'Sleepytime Gorilla Museum'. 'Jugglehead the Clown' then comes up with the full-on heavy metal approach in perfect NWOBHM fashion. It that aspect, this could indeed be a King Diamond song, except for the fact that the vocals don't always shriek as high as with the corpse-painted metal god. Nonetheless, it's heavy metal time, complete with flashing twin solos and a thunderous tempo.
The voice does become weirder and weirder as the album evolves. In 'Children Of The Cloud' for example, the voice brings images of Stephen King's 'It', further dragging the album into the strangest regions of heavy metal and (probably unintentionally) even towards black metal at times. The word 'distinct' is extremely useful when talking about the voice of Albatros. Yet, also the music has something untouchable, strange and unconventional. The complicated song structures clearly help in creating that unique sound and so does the brilliant use of bass guitar.
Fact remains that 'Fear from the Skies' is a strange album that might take some time getting used to, except of course when you're a King Diamond fan. In that case you could easily get into the complex nature of Albatross. My favorite track 'A Tale of Two Tyrants' beautifully represents everything this band stands for: strong riffs, loads of variation and an intense wicked atmosphere. Like I mentioned before: this isn't just another heavy metal album. This is an audiobook, filled with horror stories with an immersive and dark soundtrack. Perhaps it's time 'The Empire Of The Albatross' reaches Europe and the rest of the world...