ALLY THE FIDDLE
Violin-driven prog metal/fusion collision from Germany, with a quality guest list.
The premise of Ally The Fiddle is simple: virtuoso violinist Ally Storch fronts the German sextet for this album of progressive metal meets fusion. A couple of unusual twists involve the band featuring two guitarists but eschewing a keyboardist, while also numbering both Simon Tumielewicz on bass and Rouven Haliti on Chapman Stick. Up is a bumpy listen. In places it’s exhilarating, with flashes of innovation, such as on instrumentals The Bass Thing and Aphotic Zone, where Storch’s electric six-string violin weaves around the guitars of Robert Klawonn and Eric Langbecker. Storch’s own heavily accented vocals might not be to every taste – imagine a Teutonic version of Renaissance’s Annie Haslam. That aside, there’s much talent on show and the band cover Joe Satriani’s Surfing
With The Alien with panache. Numerous guest musicians contribute, most prominently Aristocrats/The Sea Within drummer Marco Minnemann, who solos on The Path, and Storch’s fellow violinist, the mighty Jerry Goodman of Mahavishnu Orchestra, on album highlight Try To Stop Me. Not an unqualified success, then, but Ally The Fiddle have plenty of potential.