Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN - 13/3
A New Constellation
Written by: BL on 10/04/2009 13:55:44
Sometimes when you try something new and different you end up not liking it and going back to familiarity and safety. Fortunately this was not the case when I listened through Spanish prog metallers Nahemah's latest Lifeforce effort "A New Constellation". These guys have been around for well over 10 years now and after shuffling their lineup and putting out their last album "The Second Philosphy" these guys have followed up with what has to be a great and enjoyable record.
The music for the most part is a combination of a lighter version of Dark Tranquility and a nice mix of calm clean sections, like mixing Opeth with Pink Floyd and sprinkled with touches of jazz. What I like a lot about this album is that on the whole every part of the sound meshes together well and cohesively: the keyboards create the ambiance and the sound effects decorate, the odd saxophone lead a delightful unique addition, the drums hold things together rhythmically with tight precision, the bass supports the rhythm but occasionally flourishes a bit of life, and the guitars build the way for the listener to be taken through the world that these 10 songs craft rather majestically. Indeed, the guitar work of Miguel and Roberto indicate a taste for subtle but effective melodies that are tasty nonetheless, and the texturing and layering is almost flawless (imagine Daylight Dies but without the doom metal melodies, but bright positive ones)
Vocalist Pablo Egido has a raspy growl akin to some melodic death metal and doom metal vocalists, with Jukka Pelkonen from Omnium Gatherum and Nathan Ellis from Daylight Dies again coming to mind. Unfortunately like Jukka, his harsh vocals can be somewhat monotonous, and this proved distracting occasionally with the rest of the music so melodic. However he uses his clean vocals to great effect on "Follow Me", which features amazing combination work from the keyboards and the clean guitars, as well as a nice little guitar solo, and again on the 7 minute epic "Under The Mourning Rays", which are some of the highlights of this record.
Like a lot of progressive music albums, it is best to listen to it the whole way through to take everything in. The Pink Floyd-esque moments certainly are so soothing to listen through before the music builds itself up climatically then finally unleashing a wave of distorted guitars crashing back down on your ear drums delightfully. The pace occasionally drags, especially on the first track which isn't quite as strong as some of the others. But on the whole it felt like a journey through a story set in a dreamworld (generally the aim with prog albums), I particularly enjoyed the great use of ambient effects and light guitar harmony throughout. This is definitely a record warrant for me to revisit many times in the future, starting now. And maybe you should too, you never know, you might be surprised like I was.
Download: Absynthe, Follow Me (God I love this song), Under The Mourning Rays
For the fans of: Dark Tranquility, Opeth, Daylight Dies
Release date 25.05.2009