|Melodic Death Metal, Progressive Metal
November 28th, 2011
Release length: 56:50
Well, it does make for a nice sound to the release. The audio here is what you would expect for a modern sounding album. The guitars sound a little heavy, but not too much all the time. This does allow the bass to stand out a little more, which aids the guitars quite a bit in becoming heavier then they really are. This allows for the music to also have a lighter atmosphere to them at key times, such as during “Passenger” when the song goes into a solo that tries to usher in a different environment to the already heavy music. The vocals work with the music, but sadly are not the most impressive. This harmonized approach through what sounds like shouting that can be a bit rhaspy at times helps to give it a slightly Progressive feel, which the music sometimes has to it as well. “Oriens” does capture the more Melodic Death Metal sound of the group, but at times you cannot help but hear a touch of Nevermore in there, as well as other tracks. The drums are what really stand out on this mix, having a great click to the bass kicks and loud, pounding snares with cymbol crashes that don’t quite drown everything out, but really work to demand the attention of the listener more then anything else in this release.
Right off the bat, K2 is really not the most impressive album you’ll come across, but much of the fifty five plus minutes of music found here is still pretty strong and enjoyable. Honestly, one of the things holding the album back a bit is the vocal approach. It’s not bad, but it feels a little generic and not quite fitting to the heavier material that’s actually a little more impressive in comparison. This isn’t to say it’s bad in any way, the harmonized gristled shouting works in an early Arch Enemy sense, but it just doesn’t feel as strong as it should. This could very well be thanks to the audio quality of the album too, as the performance does sound a little cleaner and even further back in the mix. When there’s some additional layering and it’s louder, they sound great. But, when you compare them to the vocals of Annihilator‘s Dave Paddon, a guest on the track “The Whisperer,” you cannot help but feel these vocals are kind of put to shame due to the authority he brings with him for this one song.
But, with all that said, there’s still plenty of great tracks to enjoy, even if the vocals feel a little off to what’s being performed. “Oriens” kick starts the album off well with a bit of a Middle Eastern touch to the start and even very end with the more ritualistic style vocals that appear, and even the region-specific music that kicks in at the start. The song definitely captures the heavier sound of the band with a strong Melodic Death Metal foundation, but Adimiron is far from limited to this specific sound. This isn’t the only time it comes into play either, as “Above the Rest” uses it in a similar manner at the start of the track, but eventually fades into a more traditional track along the lines of a more mainstream Rock song with varying bits and pieces that go back to that sound. “Where Nothing Changes” ushers in a more Progressive touch to the mix with some clean singing vocals at a low volume similar to something one might expect from a more modern Tool inspired band, but executed a lot better. The track manages to retain a bit of a tribal feel from the very start that naturally builds up and keeps the listener attentive without actually ever really changing, finding slight shifts in speed or hard the drums are being hit as the reason the song will sound like it’s growing and keeping the listener at the edge of their seat to see where the track will go, eventually building up to an energetic outburst of the same tribal beat but that’s louder and heavier, pushing a strong vocal performance, though largely layered, that shows the potential that a louder volume to them has to make the tracks sound much better all around. But, it’s the later songs on the album that manage to blend both that Progressive somewhat tribal build up of “There Nothing Changes” with the Melodic Death Metal sound that aid in making this group a little more unique.
But aside the combining of those two elements, there’s always one thing about this album you can seem to count on, and it’s how varied it is. “Passenger” brings that Progressive vibe to the forefront, but with a ballad approach that caters to a lonely, depressing atmosphere for much of the track to create more of a refined, catchy, and talented emotional radio friendly track that anyone can instantly get behind. “Above the Rest” feels similar in comparison, as outlined earlier in the review, though the song has that stronger Middle Eastern sound and is a little more along the generic lines without much of a solid ballad backing to it. “Red Condition” does seem to kick in rather quick, and one could argue that “Above the Rest” is meerly an introduction to this song, especially give the more dramatic build up at the start, but it’s unclear if that’s the intention behind it or not, and even if it is, it’s not that great a song to begin with. The latter of those two includes that slight Progressive sound with something more “Where Nothing Changes” about it, though in a more technical manner at times that you could say have that Groove Metal Meshuggah kind of sound to it. But, this track also isn’t that great largely in the fact that it seems to go nowhere unlike some of the other tracks. It seems to have that kind of foundation to it where it would build up slowly like with “Where Nothing Changes,” but it just doesn’t really do that. Luckily these are the only two bad tracks, and K2 ends on a rather strong note, though the songs don’t quite compare to “Oriens” or “Where Nothing Changes” due to the fact that they feel as if the band is taking less of a risk with them and sticking to what they know and do best.
K2 is not the most awe-inspiring album you’ll come across, but it’s still a very strong offering. Had the vocals been stronger, either in the performance or audio quality, as well as more focus on “Above the Rest” and “Red Condition” been a little better to create some more direction and just all around better material, this album would have felt like a complete and solid release. Adimiron is a band you may have to acquire a taste for considering it’s somewhat unique yet at the same time familiar sound, but when you get into it and give the album some time, you’ll find yourself enjoying the way the groupd handles the music. If you haven’t heard the band before, K2 is a pretty good place to start, and is worth at least sampling to see if it’s your cup of tea.
01. Oriens – 4:58
02. Where Nothing Changes – 5:58
03. Vertical Limit – 5:29
04. Passenger – 5:04
05. The Whisperer (ft. Dave Paddon) – 7:19
06. To Whom it May Concern – 5:39
07. Above the Rest – 4:25
08. Red Condition – 4:25
09. Servants Poem – 6:48
10. Thou Walk Eternal – 6:45
|Overall Score: 7.5/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Bakerteam Records.