Avram: Metal Noam

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Avram: Metal Noam
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Avram: Metal Noam
Ambience, Black Metal, Doom Metal, Thrash Metal
Mountastic Records
February 4th, 2014
Release length: 13:43
When it comes to linguistics and intellectual conversations about society and culture, Noam Chomsky’s work is well known and widely discussed. Given how societal issues, general angst, and government related woes have been the fuel to the fire of certain genres like Thrash Metal, Heavy Metal, and even Black Metal in certain regions, it was almost a given that, eventually, Chomsky’s work would end up the epicentre of a Metal recording. Enter Metal Noam, a three-piece group brought together to give his work a voice through all walks of the Metal world. But, even with the blessings of Noam himself and his publicist, does this abridged approach pan out to be an intellectually driven talking point, or is Avram, the band’s debut three song EP, not even worthy of appearing in the cliff notes?

Avram takes select audio clips of Noam speaking and layers it over the style of Metal that best suits it. “No Right to Live” discusses the establishments that Europe and the United States of America are founded on, the concept of “the right to live” and how it helped in the foundation of these institutions, as well as how it’s a mistake we need to break away from. The backdrop for this topic starts as a venomous Black Metal approach laced with some angst-fuelled Thrash Metal riffs by the two-and-a-half minute mark that make the ominous and spoken word snippet even more frightening. “Weak and Miserable Men” is set up in a similar manner. A large chunk of dialogue starts things off, but this time captured from a discussion about war layered over a softer instrumental you might find as an introductory track on an early eighties Thrash Metal album right down to having a slightly analog quality to it to go with that era.

Finally there’s “Minority of the Opulent,” a trudging Doom Metal performance that takes from Noam discussing support systems and pre-capitalism’s impact on such roles of the new government and their responsibilities. Much like on “No Right to Live” there are some effects used on the spoken dialogue to add a little more impact to the words, such as echoing certain sections, muffling them, or tuning them down deep enough that they are almost guttural, making the dismal landscape the instruments weave together far more burdening and creepy the further along you get. The song lasts a little more than seven minutes, but the music and clips are paced well enough that it only seems like its actually three or four at best, lending credence to how powerful Noam Chomsky is as a public speaker.

If you’re unfamiliar with Noam Chomsky’s work, many of the talking points presented on Avram are frightening to hear, and only enhanced by the musical selections of the members of Metal Noam. Of course, the audio samples utilized are only snippets of larger conversations and speeches that may not all be so vile, evidenced by the laughter of the crowd during the discussion on “Weak and Miserable Men.” If you’re listening to this release, chances are you’re the kind of person who wants to hear the whole thing and not just blindly accept what is presented here at face value. Avram is a thought provoking EP that accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do. It takes the motivation of words about society, culture, government, and other issues that helped build many Metal genres and manages to twist and distort them into effectively eerie pieces that will make you wonder what exactly led up to such bold statements to the point where you not only find yourself talking about them, but also going out of your way to research the context in which these words were used, not to mention just make some solid music out of it all.

01. No Right to Live – 3:45
02. Weak and Miserable Men – 2:49
03. Minority of the Opulent – 7:08
Initial Pressing Score: 8/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Mountastic Music via Catharsis PR.