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If i heard Fermina right after August Wernicke, i think i would be a bit disappointed really. Musical development was inevitable and we have a completely different album. The definition progressive metal with gothic rock elements will be more appropriate here.
It`s one of those albums where you concentrate more on vocals then on music first. Tuomas Tuominen now sings only in clear voice. Surprisingly
he`s a very gifted vocalist with a very wide vocal range. His voice is very expressive and emotional and now it is the driving force of the album.
You surely must give him a lot of credit for putting life into all his bizarre lyrics by means of his unconventional voice. If you just read through the lyrics you`d wonder how the hell this guy managed to sing all this.
Ok, on to the music. Generally it`s more relaxed and lighter still as melodic and versatile as before; passes through all possible changes and rhythms with addition of some ambiental echoes. Yes, there`re still a lot of melodic death structures mixed with less heavier rocky melodies. There`s definitely something from traditional heavy metal also. They recruited a keyboard player on a permanent basis who enriched the sound with atmospherical synths. Don`t think about Dream Theater; the keys are less involved though diverse, pleasant-sounding and have a room to progress. Drumming is more rock-like, pretty powerful, without blastbeats but with lots of rolls and double bass!!! Finally there are too many subtleties to mention and discover.
On the band picture all of the band members are dressed like some office clerks: white shirts and black suits. Is that a hint on a musical maturity or a wish to distinguish themselves from hairy metal brotherhood? More likely the first one. Intelligent music needs exquisite attire. Don`t you agree?
Fermina will require many listens to dig. It borders metal but yet aspires for much more. Be an open-minded and prepare yourself for an evolution.