Tuesday, December 31, 2013

the melodic/growl metal of Noumena (Finland)

the melodic/growl metal of Noumena (Finland)
Noumena: "Death Walks with Me"
What is your idea of 1990s metal? Does your imagination move towards In Flames and Dark Tranquillity? Perhaps you think of Amorphis? Maybe your thoughts gravitate in the direction of the sounds of bands with growled vocals, memorable hooks, and melancholic tendencies?
What about the continuation of that style nowadays? Do you enjoy the aesthetics of Insomnium, and possibly Omnium Gatherum, Be’lakor, Eternal Tears of Sorrow, and of course, Dark Tranquillity?
If your answer is in the affirmative, then, add Noumena to your list. This band, however, is no novices, so worry not about Noumena being an acolyte entity. For instance, according to Metal Archives, this band has been active since 1998. It seems that, in addition, several of the band members were in metal bands in the mid 90s; therefore, as you can see, Noumena has been around the block.
The first thing that I noticed is that the music is expertly done in all phases: a professional sound, capable (and non-barked) growling, good traditional singing, and catchy songs. This is the band’s fourth full-length album, and with it, Noumena runs the gamut of upbeat riffs and growling, while also working midtempo catchy segments and gothic/melancholic traditional singing and mellower moments. Songs have the multiple guitar approach: the low-tuned semi-thrashy riffs, which are then topped off with a layer of very ear-friendly guitar notes. This method of writing is represented throughout the album, and evinces a great deal of care taken in the compositions.
The band’s previous “Anatomy of Life” album is from 2006, and this one is from 2013. As for this long pause in action, I do not know if the band broke up and then reunited, but the results here speak to a band working hard on each song, and it’s readily clear that Noumena has crafted a work that goes very well with the classics of this particular style, namely In Flames, Dark Tranquillity and Amorphis. Whether it’s Amorphis’ “Tales from the Thousand Lakes,” or Dark Tranquillity’s “The Gallery” or “Projector,” Noumena has many qualities that also appeal to those attentive to the current practitioners of this sound, such as Insomnium. To end, give this album a few serious listens in order for the complete picture to emerge, and I believe that you will agree that Noumena has delivered quality.

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