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domenica 21 dicembre 2014

Nami - The Eternal Light of the Unconscious Mind

#FOR FANS OF: Progressive/Avantgarde Death Metal, Opeth, Gojira, Gigan
Another one of those “I-can’t-believe-a-band-came-from-there” countries in Andorra, Progressive Death Metal band Nami has made it to album number two now and it’s still nearly impossible to get a grip as to what the bands’ actually about. There’s some melodic meandering throughout here as well as elements of Groove Metal in the riffing, when it becomes audible that there’s guitars in the mix since far too much of this seems to be based on creating a cacophonous noise of blasting drumming, discordant riffing and the inclusion of keyboards for a truly off-the-wall sound. There’s very little traditional influence of Death Metal throughout this one beyond a few growls and deep heavy riffing spread throughout various arrangements, and in fact the band’s focus on clean crooning is the biggest giveaway that this one’s not intended as a true Death Metal release. It’s all so haphazardly written, though, that it gives off more of an impression of simply placing as many different elements and styles into the music simply because the band is infatuated with those materials rather than finding a coherent way of utilizing them to their advantage as this never so much progresses to another section of the track as much as it does slam head-on into it without warning. This doesn’t become much of a distraction so much as it does a simple observation on the band as there’s certainly something to be said about how intriguing and interesting the numerous amount of work that went into this, but if it can be focused and streamlined better they might be onto something here. Opening track ‘The Beholders’ does offer up a potential clue as to what’s on store as the constantly shifting rhythms, complex arrangements that seem to focus on throwing everything possible into the song and the occasional burst of full-on Death Metal does offer promise but is way too scattershot to be much more. Thankfully ‘Ariadna’ does a better job at being coherent enough to matter with its’ sharp grooves and discordant patterns making for a much enjoyable Death Metal track though the lengthy avant-garde noodling in the middle of this does make itself known. The expansive ‘Silent Mouth’ is the album’s best track here with plenty of atmospheric wandering, a series of tight rhythms and enough energy to really make for an enjoyable time throughout this one. ‘Hunter's Dormancy’ follows up with another enjoyable effort as this one tends to really focus on those enjoyable blasting rhythms and stylized chugging that runs rampant throughout this. The back-to-back shorter efforts are both utter throwaways as ‘The Animal and the Golden Throne’ is as a clanking guitar runs through anguished screaming until a piano-lead outro while ‘Bless of Faintness’ seems like pointless desert-rock meandering with eerie droning guitar notes repeated over whispered vocals and don’t serve much of a purpose here. ‘Hope in Faintness’ at least gets back into more traditional realms but again contains way too atmospheric wandering in its arrangements and wallows in spacey segments that really don’t justify much of a metal tag at all until the final half when it’s all too late to matter much. ‘Crimson Sky’ carries on with the melodic guitar trinkling and light arrangements which don’t sound metal at all and makes for an even harder justification for their inclusion in the genre. ‘The Dream Eater’ finally attempts more traditional manners and executions with the frantic drum-blasts and urgent, intense riffing along with a more charging, destructive atmosphere but again simply contains far too much atmospheric meandering and spacey atmospheres to get much better. Frankly, this one is just too avant-garde and off-kilter to really get a handle on. (Don Anelli)

(Year of the Sun Records - 2013)
Score: 50