'Alive' Bands to Watch vets sound even more massive on LP

Akula has preached patience since its formation.

“When we started the project … a big tenet was we never wanted to rush anything out to play a show, or rush to get a record done,” bassist Scott Hyatt told Alive in late 2017. “It's done when it's done.”

The group, which also consists of singer Jeff Martin, guitarists Sergei Parfenov and Chris Thompson, and drummer Ronnie Miller, adopted a similar approach with pressing its self-titled debut, which surfaced digitally in January and is now available on vinyl (the band's concert at Ace of Cups on Friday, Nov. 23, doubles as a record-release celebration). The wait was worth it. On LP, Akula's widescreen ambitions shine, revealing even greater dynamic range and musical depth in slow burners like “A Pound of Flesh” and the epic “Force Me Open,” which shifts from Martin's lung-stretching, effortlessly melodic vocal passage into an intricate display of guitar shredding courtesy of twin beasts Parfenov and Thompson. The music was immersive before, but now it's even easier to get lost in.