Nami

Fragile Alignments

Written by: PP on 29/09/2011 05:24:59

Nami have the honor of being the very first band reviewed from Andorra on Rockfreaks.net, the tiny country located between France and Spain that most people don't know much about. Their debut album "Fragile Alignments" has been garnering so much critical acclaim across the web that I've given it an unhealthy amount of listening time just to grasp what the album is about, why it is near-perfect (according to many critics)...a task in which I have, ultimately, failed, as even after three weeks of listening time Nami don't strike a chord with me at all in the same way as a band like Opeth does.

That's right, we're in the realm of progressive metal, but other than long winded songs characterized by complex structures and interchangeable ethereal lulls and crushing death metal passages, Nami have some real trouble connecting with their listener. But more on that later, as it is necessary to understand the overwhelming level of ambition and effort that has been placed into "Fragile Alignments" first. It is a concept album centered around a character simply known as 'The Man', a representation of our modern humanity. Last.fm tells me the following: "anchored by the themes of optimism and freedom, the album follows The Man on a secular journey towards his own enlightenment as he clashes with the natural world that surrounds him." That's already a deep concept that undoubtedly functions as an inspiration for a novel's worth of lyrical content, but get this: the album's tracks are laid out in an achronological order. In layman's terms, you can switch track one with track five, or track three with track eight, and uncover a brand new storyline each time. Now THAT is impressive.

That, however, is ultimately also the reason why so many reviewers are rating Nami's record as the second coming of Jesus Christ. The sheer level of ambition and the unbelievable fact that they've actually pulled it off successfully deserves a ton of credit. But here comes the point I was getting to earlier: in the midst of working out such a complicated lyrical foundation for the album, Nami have down-prioritized the songwriting part of the project to the extent that my interest in the concept waivers away after just a couple of songs every time I pop on the album. The reason for that is, ironically, quite simple: the songs on "Fragile Alignments" lack the eloquence to be engaging throughout to make the listener pay resolute attention to the concept itself.

Don't get me wrong. The songs are well written and require years upon years of experience to match the kind of instrumental talent and understanding of changing dynamics between quiet passages and ravaging metal sections, but where Opeth deliver their progressive death metal with the urgency and force of an orbital satellite crashing down to earth, Nami in comparison both sound and feel like a smoothly landing space shuttle instead (and no, not Columbia). Yes, it is possible to spend paragraphs and paragraphs describing how seamlessly the monstrous growling and a wall of prog metal transitions into eerie singing and semi-acoustic guitars, or the small intricacies found between the story and the instruments, but I feel like it goes to waste when the album lacks an ability to truly grab the listener by the shoulders, refusing to let go before you've absorbed the whole thing fully.

Download: The Growing (Earth), Loop Of Truth (The Link)
For the fans of: Opeth, Porcupine Tree, progressive metal
Listen: Myspace

Release date 17.05.2011
Year Of The Sun

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