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Konom - Konom CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.01 | 57 ratings

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3 stars Konom is a young, promising, and relatively new British progressive metal band with members based in Manchester and Edinburgh. When shows were still a thing, the band mainly performed out of Manchester within the local scene opening for more prominent visiting acts. Thanks to home studio technology, 2020's lockdown did not prevent members from writing and producing their debut record Konom collaboratively. And, by the standards of home recording and production, this record sounds as great as anyone could reasonably expect.

From the album's opening guitar and keyboard lead passages, reminiscent as they are of Dream Theater's "Six Degress of Inner Turbulence" suite, it becomes pretty clear that this record is going to be some standard prog metal fare. But what the music lacks in originality it makes up for in infectious positive energy. There is a hardly a dark moment on this album with the music pushing bright chords and up-tempo, but in no ways brutal, riffage. In this respect, I can see the record having strong appeal in the broader progressive music space. For my money, the music's most standout component are the acoustic guitar interludes interspersed throughout the record. I hope Dan White, Konom's guitarist, will continue to explore that in future releases.

Konom's Achilles heel is, tragically, the vocal performance. Imagine the wild boyish tone of Protest the Hero's Rody Walker but with little in the way of control or charisma. There is a moment in the album's opener "A Welcome Change" where I literally wince at how off key the vocal performance seems to be. Also, for music this unapologetically bright, colorful, and accessible, I would have expected at least a few good vocal hooks to sing along with. My ear certainly did not latch on to any. With all that said, I anticipate that this aspect of the music can be substantially improved under the direction of a more experienced producer.

Overall, still a very worthwhile album. This is definitely a band that, provided they don't sit on their laurels and continuously strive to improve, has a knock out classic record waiting up their sleeve.

ssmarcus | 3/5 |


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