Review by: Juho Karila
Noumena - Myrrys
Label: Haunted Zoo Productions
My first impression of the Finnish melodeath group Noumena dates back to the days I was still discovering the world of metal and it’s immersive community. I had laid my hands on, now 15 years old Absence (2002) album, which struck me with a force so fierce that I was really disappointed in hearing the later ones shifting away from that really beautifully guitar-lead-driven metal with lots of catchy hooks.
When the first track, Metsän Viha was released as a single, I was beyond excited. I heard the same elements which made me think about Insomnium as copycats, due the similarities of the two bands. It’s very energetic track with lots of potential and those cool guitar leads, I had been deprived of on Anatomy of Life (2006) and Death Walks with Me (2013). Now the brightest edge has dimmed but this is still a really pleasantly surprising track; Noumena is getting back to it!
As the album progresses to the second one, Kirouksen Kantaja slows down to almost doom metal and the track sounds vividly like Amorphis with its melodies. It’s a good continuum to the new style of the group, where singing plays a bigger role as it gives us some clean female voice too. It’s not the singing itself that takes off the intensity of the track but it still feels like something is missing and works best as background music.
At the third track, Sanat Pimeydestä, I have to give kudos to how well the track placement has been thought of, as up to this point everyone expands the soundscape softly and gives us something little extra as we hear clean male vocals this time. Also the track itself has a nice 00’s feel to it. It’s pleasantly upbeat and it works as a great pick-me-up after the second one and pushes me further down the memory lane to why I first fell in love with this band.
Sanansaattaja is the slowest one on the album, almost like a ballad, but it compensates pretty well with the heaviness. It plays with the contrast of heavy distorted guitars and clean ones that backs up Suvi Uura‘s beautiful singing voice. The suitable amount of complexity in arrangements makes this one of the best tracks in the album. As the almost 10 minutes long song comes to an end, I find myself even more excited for what’s to come.
And Roihu sure doesn’t let me down. the one of the fastest songs is nicely balanced simplicity after the lenghty epic, and also the catchiest song off the album. Beginning with acoustic guitars, the first notes reminds of Ensiferum but recycling cliches every now and then is completely acceptable. It doesn’t take long before the heavy gear kicks in and we hear the distorted version of the intro and the folk metal -vibe wears off. This is Noumena as it’s best, upbeat and relying heavily on guitar leads. In the middle, we get a really nicely grooving brakedown that just screams to be headbanged along live.
Towards the end of the album we get another epic doomy song, Murhehuone, which sadly doesn’t cut it after the couple of previous ones as it doesn’t really give anything new to us. The song pretty much sums up the overall feeling of the album, which is decent melodeath with lots of elements from here and there, like Amorphis but these guys just can’t make a sing-driven mid-tempo song working. It also tries building up an emotional charge to add an extra flavour but it’s derived too far away from what the band knows best that it just feels like a too long filler.
Myrrys is a really versatile album, it tries to be a little bit of everything the band has been before but at times it only manages to appear as chaotic and unoriented, like the band still don’t quite know what they want to do. There are a lot of good ideas and even a few great ones but in the end it just turns out to be the doom of the album.
Antti Haapanen – vocals
Suvi Uura – vocals
Ville Lamminaho – guitar
Tuukka Tuomela – guitar
Hannu Savolainen – bass
Ilkka Unnbom – drums
2. Metsän viha
3. Kirouksen kantaja
4. Sanat pimeydestä
8. Pedon veri
9. Syvällä vedessä