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(52:58, Graviton Music Services)
TRACK LIST: 1. The Beholders 7:58 2. Ariadna 5:11 3. Silent Mouth 5:57 4. Hunter's Dormancy 6:22 5. The Animal and the Golden Throne 3:23 6. Bless of Faintness 3:16 7. Hope in Faintness 6:52 8. Crimson Sky 4:23 9. The Dream Eater 9:36 LINEUP: Roger Andreu Nicolas – vocals Filipe Baldaia – guitars; vocals; sampling Sergi Verdeguer Moyano – drums; vocals Ivan Marin Aparicio – guitars Ricard Tolosa Aivar – bass With: Efrem Roca – saxophone &: A few additional singers
Prolusion. The Andorran band NAMI was formed back in 2007, and released their debut album "Fragile Alignments" four years later. Since then the band has gone through some personnel changes. They reappeared as a recording unit in 2013 with their sophomore production "The Eternal Light of the Unconscious Mind", which was released through Graviton Music Services towards the end of 2013.
Analysis. Nami belongs to that category of bands that always know when and how to take their material in unexpected directions, which is generally a good thing when dealing with progressive music of any kind. That their chosen territory is progressive metal, and a variety of it that generally shies away from the most commonly explored parts of that turf, isn't a disadvantage either, I have to say. The major expertise of this band is how they manage to smoothly incorporate sudden and fairly dramatic alterations into their compositions. In one case they easily manage to go through three rather drastically different styles within a 20 second span with an ease that is quite impressive, and while I didn't take notes that specific throughout the entire length of this production I do seem to recall that this wasn't a one off either. These are details that may perhaps be of interest to a select few only admittedly, but it does reveal a bit about the level of talent and expertise the members of this band master hopefully. In terms of style there's a fair degree of variation at hand. We do have the token fragile affair, Crimson Sky, that explores rather more frail and delicate moments, documenting firmly that material of that kind is something this band is more than capable of besides the more harder edged material. As for the latter, these also include their fair share of gentler moments and atmospheric laden, fragile details. Most of all they are about variety however, from the aforementioned careful excursions through more heavy metal oriented passages with dark, compact guitar riffs and clean, melodic lead vocals dominating through majestic constructions with keyboards and guitars assembled in a more typical progressive metal manner to modes of expressions that are rather more extreme. Compact, loud riff cascades, grimy thrash metal based riff-dominated passages and intense, hammering riff and rhythms constructions of the kind that does make a world like extreme come easily to mind. Just as often with barked or growling vocals on top as with a more traditional melodic lead vocals to cater for the lyrical contents. That this is a band that is fairly fond of light toned, nervous or textured instrument details of the post rock variety to flavor their various modes of delivery is probably a detail that merits a mention as well, as this is a distinct part of their overall sound. Another aspect of this band's repertoire that also warrants a mention is that they occasionally will shift down the tempo and style to a more doom-oriented one, slow paced and atmospheric in expression. The most impressive aspect of this production is, as mentioned, how effortlessly the band handles transitions and marked alterations in pace, intensity and style. That they generally tend to craft interesting themes and use alluring details to flavor their material are other strengths, and with a high quality production as the icing on the cake the end result is a rock solid album. I'm not well versed in metal these days to clearly state that this is an innovative band as such, but for me personally this specific blend and mix of different styles does come across as a breath of fresh air.
Conclusion. Nami should cater quite nicely to those with a taste for sophisticated progressive metal of the kind that explores a fairly large landscape. The compositions have room for frail, light toned atmospheric oriented passages just as much as doom laden excursions, traditional heavy metal based ones, alongside thrash, progressive metal and some of the more extreme varieties. With some post rock flavoring to top it off. The mood and atmosphere is a dark one though, so an affection for dark moods is needed, as is a certain taste for lead vocals of the growling variety, to be able to enjoy this production. Those who can subscribe to that description should find this CD to be one well worth spending some time with.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: September 5, 2014
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