Written by: Vattghern
Haken, oh Haken! Some VIP Tickets, Meet and Greets, lots of merch, and signed vinyl copies later, Haken has not only become a titan of modern prog, but also a friend through thick and thin for me. Despite my love for the Brits, after the release of their last studio album Vector and my corresponding praise for it, the band seemingly vanished from my playlists. Did I outgrow Haken? Did they outgrow me? All these questions crossed my mind when the band announced Vector’s spiritual successor Virus out of the blue and my inner fanboy didn’t move a muscle.
“New Haken single is meh,” I disappointingly declared in the lead up to the release, only to end up hitting play on “Invasion” every time I got a hold of my headphones. So, as it tends to do, the future proofed me wrong and answered my doubts with a big, fat “nah.” And after three midnight sessions of eagerly hitting refresh on Haken’s Spotify, only to find out the album has been delayed again, I finally got ahold of Virus. Since the past had proven that Haken ages like a fine wine for me, I’ve taken my appropriate time with it, which translates to about a week of nonstop listening. My verdict? Virus, while still awaiting the test of time, is not only the perfect second part to Vector, but also some of the band's finest work to date.
Written by: Vattghern
Time is money. More notably, time is limited. In this modern day and age, for the majority, everything needs to happen fast. I need my news fast, I don't have time to cook, and I especially don't spend time on anything I don't really need to. It's sad, really, but why this pretentiously philosophical monologue to start the review of Zohamah's Spread My Ashes?
Because Zohamah approached their record in similar fashion--which in this case, works in favour of the music. The record is roughly half an hour long and given the type of music that is presented, a more stretched out approach would undoubtedly have taken away much of its charm.
Kicking off things with thunder and stormy rain is new World, and it captures the soundscape of what is to come accordingly. A bit of dissonant black metal, a bit of doomy atmosphere, and some death metal chugging. Genre traits are not bound to exact attributes though, since variety is subtle but noticeable. While Black Cloud is very fast paced, with hints of death metal, the intense vocal performance and tremolo picked melodies across the album scream "black metal."
Given the underlying diversity of influences and styles, some transitions don't work out as they should. At points an abrupt change or not-so-smooth transition occurs, but luckily for the listener, this is more of a rare occurrence.
With a production that gives spotlight to every instrument and a blend of genres that provides the listener with something fresh yet oddly familiar, Spread my Ashes succeeds in most parts. Especially the decision to cut corners where needed, which ultimately forms this into a short but sweet record.
Zohamah -Spread My Ashes will be released Feb. 1st from Redefining Darkness Records
Written by: Vattghern
Instrumental records are very risky. Either you master the craft and make it interesting and innovative enough, or the music fades into the uninspiring and generic abyss. Nomera kind of fall between these two categories (already making my statement a paradox). Holos is a short instrumental piece, with instrumentation reminiscent of prog and death metal. As short as the record, I’ll try to make this review.
Nomera are trying hard to make their music not sound boring and repetitive, and the effort pays off in some moments. The synth is the strongest aspect of their sound,embracing sweet melodies that act as a nice contrast to the riff--and double bass--dominated sound. Unfortunately, between all the riffs and guitar leads, Nomera fail to provide big standout moments. There are some, don't get me wrong, but too many times parts are forgotten as soon as the next changeup comes into play. As a whole Holos lacks variety, while ironically having countless riffs and leads. After the 4th tapping lead, you kind of get the idea.
The production overall is solid, but I found the kick to be a little sharp in the whole mix.
If Nomera tries to tighten their songwriting,focus more on riffs that really matter, and polish their sound a bit, they could improve by a lot. As this is a debut I'm able to look over these weak spots, hoping for a better future for these guys, because there is potential. As is, Holos sadly fails to impress me in any one category.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!