Creinium: Project Utopia

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Creinium: Project Utopia
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Creinium: Project Utopia
Death Metal, Progressive Metal, Symphonic Black Metal
Inverse Records
April 15th, 2014
Release length: 30:39
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Back in early 2012, Aleksi Holma (drums) and Antti Myllynen (keyboards) came together to form what would become Creinium. Over the months, the group started to come together piece by piece, eventually recording their first demo, Modern World Tyranny, later that year. After a slight line-up change in bassists, they wasted no time to get back to recording new material. In January of 2014, the now six-piece group put together their debut EP Project Utopia, which is set to be issued through Finland’s Inverse Records in April. With plenty of praise surrounding their first outing, does this new release live up to the hype, or is it far from as strong as critics and fans claim it to be?

“Societal Collapse” acts as a nice Industrial-tinged narrative that kind of gives background to this release, setting up a conceptual recording about building one’s own paradise, a concept sprawled across the next four songs. The classical symphonics give the piece a nice bit of a gothic overtone that gives way to effects and alterations that set up a Science Fiction approach that is picked up on more in “New World Order” thanks to the effect on the keyboards, especially the solo around the four minute mark that takes the track’s direction into more of a Progressive Metal world helmed by any sixties astral-based story telling you come across. The enthusiastic rasps just push the generally frustrated and pissed off sensation of the lyrics, furthered during the more aggressive passages by adding layers to them.

“Project Utopia” is a rich, dominating mixture of Symphonic Black Metal with powerful gutturals. There are some rasps to be found that compliment the commanding mechanical atmosphere well, while the keyboards and even effects on the riffs in some bridges re-establish that Science Fiction vibe once more without going as far as “New World Order” did. Even the guitar solo brings a sense of desolation that is quite suiting. “Eschaton” has some simpler hooks at times, as well as some slower, emptier passages that have more of a raw, sinister approach to the growling vocals. It’s a solid performance, but not quite as memorable as some of the others, including the nearly ten minute “Synthetic Paradise.” Again that Progressive Metal touch appears in some of the melodies and richer areas, such as the astounding keyboard solo and around the four minute mark, that give the song a little more of an upbeat vibe that shifts nicely into the more scathing Black Metal segments. It all works together in a way that seems to show that even in paradise there is always anarchy, eventually becoming as one by the end.

Not only does Creinium manage to create a Black Metal and Death Metal album that doesn’t sounds like your stereotypical Behemoth or symphonic-fuelled Dimmu Borgir clone from start to finish (though some sections do carry traits of both), it manages weaves in Progressive Metal, Science Fiction, and a great concept flawlessly. Each song on here is a varied experience that flows smoothly all the way to the final notes, keeping listeners engaged even when passing the seven or nine minute point. If anything this EP is too short. By the end of “Synthetic Paradise” you are left with a sense of closure, but at the same time still wanting more. Project Utopia is one of those incredibly rare underground gems that more than likely will slip by unnoticed given Inverse Record’s largely Finnish distribution limitations, but that doesn’t mean the release is off-limits. It might cost a little more to get your hands on Project Utopia if your currency isn’t the euro, but this is one recording worth the money you may have to shell out to own.

01. Societal Collapse – 2:45
02. Project Utopia – 5:32
03. New World Order – 7:37
04. Eschaton – 5:02
05. Synthetic Paradise – 9:43
Initial Pressing Score: 9/10

Creinium
Creinium

Digital review copy of this release provided by Inverse Records.