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Runaway Totem - Esameron CD (album) cover


Runaway Totem



3.75 | 8 ratings

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3 stars Runaway Totem, an extremely obscure Zheul-ish band (popular here mainly because three of their albums are available for free download on their website) have released one of their better album this year (2007) with Esameron. Production is a step up from other works they've done, though the irritating, dissonant, silly keyboard voices are sometimes still there, and the sloppiness is still a bit of an issue, the melodies/riffs/all that stuff are in great excess, and never been more pleasing. Aggressive riffs are not endangered, either, and the jazzy nuances they've picked up haven't vanished at all. Even the spacey/near-ambient sections have been improved with stellar effects.

Supposedly this is a concept album, and possibly the beginning of a string of concept albums, all based around some mathematical...thing...Well, concept aside, the lyrics are not in Christian Vander's language, but in Italian instead. The vocals sound a little filtered, and are not overly pleasing. Musically, the compositions are extremely progressive, with some really complex sections, the energy is always powerful and driving. Some brief darker, softer sections balance everything nicely, too.

After 2002's release, Tep Zeri, Totem was reduced to 2 members, but often pulled in Susanna Villanova as a guest musician, doing some female operatic vocals for the studio work. Here, there are no guests, and everything you hear was written and played by Cahal De Betel and Tipheret. They still trudged along, though, and have actually done one of their best with this one, and even managed an 'epic' feel that has always seemed to be the aim of their music. Kudos to them.

Shakespeare | 3/5 |


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