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Shatters Your Mind, Then Courteously Rebuilds It - 96%

VoidTrawler, October 3rd, 2012

Now here's something I don't come across often; meet The Noumenon, a modern, infant, progressive death metal act that is alarmingly impressive in a multitude of their particulars. Not only do they offer up a unique approach to progressive death metal, but they present occult related themes without the need to draw from religions (yeah, you heard me: fuck you paganism/satanism/etc) which you really don't see all that often. I've never been so pleased with an initial release, and that speaks magnitudes, well at least to me. But enough verbal masturbation, let's get into the content.

The album opens strong with the first sequence of "Ulterior Predation" , and you almost instantly become aware that these guys must be fans of Atheist and Cynic (early), as they offer their own unique spin on pre-existing musical ideals. The song progresses into a brief, almost schizophrenic diddly that evolves into some solid riffing that begs you to bob your head along with it. The vibe just continues throughout the song as it reaches a bit of a musical break with slightly eerie piano leading up to an unexpectedly "soulful" guitar solo.

The journey continues with "Journey in the Absolute", which--I'll have to say the word again--is a bit of a journey in itself. This song reminds me of a number of different bands/types of music, making a bit of an amalgamation of familiarity which stimulates my brain to no end. Dan Swano/Edge of Sanity comes to mind, but I also catch whiffs of some things you'd expect to hear from Voivod, Martyr, and even King Crimson, which to me is an impressive feat that I don't believe I've come across up until now.

"A Lengthened Shadow of Ignorance" begins slow, bringing forth a different almost relaxing mood, which increases in tempo poco a poco following another tasteful guitar solo. The song may be at a mild tempo, but The Noumenon still succeeds in displaying their musical prowess with complex fretwork and strong vocals accompanied by very suiting drums.

As "The Imbalance" begins upon first listen you immediately want to bang your head along with it, and as you do the melody seems to drift in and out of the pace set by your cranial metronome, which is a quality of this kind of music I find very alluring. Yet another diverse song, incorporating really creative riffs, organ sounds, tasteful tremolo and sweep picking, and a section I severely dig where the bass and guitars introduce a new feeling to the song by alternating with each other working together to generate a pretty damn cool sound.

When looked at as a whole this EP can be seen as a work of art, and I really appreciate the effort these guys put into it to create something genuinely innovative and new. Each song offers up something completely different, but we can even go beyond that and say each part of each song follows this trend, with an apparent lack of repetition throughout the EP's entire duration. Keep your eyes on The Noumenon, as these guys are sure not to disappoint in their future endeavours, even while a big driving force behind their music more recently is juggling another very notable endeavour at the same time (filling in on guitar for the revival of Canadian progressively styled death/thrash legends Disciples of Power). Join them on their pursuit of the mysteries of creation!