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In Nomine - 2005 - "Mythos"

(45 min, Musea)


*****+
                 
TRACK LIST:                             

1.  Cronus 2:27
2.  Zeus - Son of Cronus 4:28
3.  Ares 7:13
4.  Hypnos Suite 4:59
5.  Pandora 4:36
6.  Helen 6:07
7.  Sisyphus 14:58

All music: by L Perez & E Fragas, except 5: In Nomine.
All lyrics: L Perez. Arranged & produced: by In Nomine.

LINEUP:

Leonardo Perez - lead vocals; drums
Estefan Fragas - electric & Spanish guitars
Julio Fragas - Grand piano & synthesizers
Andres Gonzalez - fretted & fretless basses
With: 
Ruben Perez - backing vocals
Cruz Hernida - female vocals 

Prolusion. "Mythos" is the second album by Spanish quartet IN NOMINE. Their debut outing, "Mutatis Mutandis", was released at the very end of the last millennium. The title is definitely familiar to me. I am almost certain I've heard the album, at least once, and yet, I didn't find the review. Growing older...

Analysis. This is a concept album based on ancient Greek mythology. The words are in English, which, although isn't fantastic, is clearly comprehensible. Quite unexpectedly to me, the lyrics turned out to be free of symbolism. They pretty convincingly reflect the essence of the personages chosen, the heroes acting out a story in their name. (I wouldn't be surprised if the band's next output would be the plot's continuation, titled as "Mythos II".) The opening track, Cronos, is the one instrumental composition. Although quite short, it's a complete work and is Metal-tinged symphonic Art-Rock with interesting evolution. The centerpiece, Hypnos Suite, is somewhat of a dreamy Art-Rock ballad and is my least favorite track here. By the way, it is titled improperly. The suite must have a composite construction. In other words, it must include some number of sections differing from each other by certain musical characteristics, above all thematically. Here, the picture remains nearly invariable. If not quite topical in the context of the myth, it would've been more effective if the band had done something nightmarish in their dedication to the ancient god of sleep. The other tracks are as good as they are diverse stylistically: from a dramatic Symphonic Art-Rock of moderate complexity on Ares, through quasi Jazz-Fusion on Pandora, to a synthesis of these genres with a touch of Prog-Metal on Zeus and Helen. The latter three are the most eclectic and intricate and would probably be the highlights. But while the music and the lead vocals are free of influences, like everywhere on the album, all the chorus parts are not unlike those in Echolyn, both by structure and delivering, which a bit mars the overall impression the songs made on me. It's more than obvious that the 15-minute Sisyphus was initially called to become the culmination point, and it would've been had it been not overextended. Largely instrumental, it has impressive introductory and closing sections masterfully performed on two, classical and Spanish, guitars. The main theme, excellently developed with constantly shifting instrumental arrangements, has found its continuation closer to the end. But the middle of the composition, filled with ambient-like passages of synthesizer slowly drowning in the course of nearly five minutes, leaves me in great perplexity each time I appeal to it trying to find something, which I didn't lose there in fact. Nevertheless, along with Zeus and Helen, this composition often arrives at the complexity rarely heard on the other tracks. On the other hand, I think even the least complex moments of this effort are good. Why? The answer is below.

Conclusion. Not counting occasional vocal parts, this band has its own original vision of music, which is a treat in itself, especially since it's progressive music. While I don't enjoy In Nomine as much as their countrymen Kotebel, I believe this is one of the most talented bands to come out from Spain in recent years. Fans of symphonic Prog will certainly find something here to be happy about.

VM: April 12, 2005


Related Links:

Musea Records
Musea Records
In Nomine


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