When the woman in the office next to yours knows that you listen to metal (occasionally the Amon Amarth coming from your desk is just a touch louder than it should be) and tells you that her nephew plays bass for a metal band, your first thought is of a cover band that does the requisite MotleyZep'Tallica tunes and not much else. She fiddles with her phone for a couple of minutes, trying to find his Facebook profile so that she can then tell you the name of his band. Eventually she comes up with it and you know that the only polite thing to do is to click the link and give a courtesy listen, after which you know you'll say that that's the best cover of Enter Sandman you've ever heard.
Unless, of course, your co-worker's nephew plays for Baltimore-based retro-rockers Alms. It's as though Mk I Deep Purple and Master of Reality/Vol. 4-era Sabbath copulated in the Temple of the Dog, giving birth to a grungey little Wishbone Ash baby that was baptized by 70's Judas Priest. Vocals are shared by guitarist Bob Sweeney and keyboardist Jess Kamen, and the result is doom-filled and positively intoxicating. Though only two tracks are available on their Bandcamp page right now, the band is looking to release their first full length later this year. If what they've recorded so far is any indication of what they're capable of, expect your co-workers (the ones with decent taste in music, that is) to be jamming to Alms in the near future as well. I know everyone within a 50' radius of my desk this week has been listening to them. Rage on! JPR
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