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Konom - Konom CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.01 | 57 ratings

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5 stars Konom's self-titled debut album has been hovering close to the top of this year's charts for quite a while, though it still has yet to reach 50 ratings; it is also the highest progressive metal album on the 2021 chart, so I decided to check it out to see if it was worth the "hype". My initial reaction to the start of the album was that this isn't exactly an extraordinarily innovative album the way something like Black Midi's "Cavalcade" is; it's a fairly standard contemporary progressive metal album reminiscent of Haken, Caligula's Horse, Plini, Coheed and Cambria, etc.

That being said, this album is absolutely outstanding, and has quickly become one of my favorite 2021 albums, for the reason that it does what it does (contemporary progressive metal) EXTREMELY well. This is absolutely one of the most satisfying prog metal albums I have heard in quite a long time, possibly since Leprous's "The Congregation" in 2015. The album is simultaneously very catchy and undeniably heavy. It's filled with killer riffs that the band augments with prominent piano, acoustic guitar, organ, and other instruments that are usually only used in prog metal either in the background or as a brief moment of respite.

From the first song "A Welcome Change", it is clear that Arya Bobaie has an incredibly unique and outstanding voice, though it's a shame that he has since left the band. The opening track also introduces the awesome riffage that permeates the whole album, and it toys around with some synths throughout that eventually culminate with an absolutely ripping synth solo towards the end of the song. Birotunda keeps up the energy with more synth shredding, along with one of my favorite heavy riffs on the whole album; however, it closes out with a beautiful softer section with strings, atmospheric guitars, and of course, Bobaie's incredible voice.

"As the Waters Rise" is probably the catchiest song on the album, with an infectious 12/8 groove and more amazing vocals. It also features one of the heaviest riffs on the album about 1:30 into the song. One of my favorite parts of this song is the use of the acoustic guitar to augment the sonic environment; some prog metal albums will do this with the acoustic doubling under the electrics, but the distinct acoustic parts in this song make the approach all the more effective.

The epic closer on the album, "The Great Harvest", is probably the hardest song to talk about, simply because there's so much incredible material throughout the monumental 24 minute track. Highlights include two more of the heaviest riffs on the record in "I. Epiphany", and "III. Mutating Light", guitarist Dan White's insanely sexy solo at the end of "II. Dilate My World", some absolutely gorgeous piano-acoustic guitar interplay in "Mutating Light" again, and drummer Tom Rice's awesome chops and double kick work on "IV. Reflections", not to mention the absolutely phenomenal closer "V. Heedless Breath".

It is true that this album does not introduce a new approach to progressive music; that being said, Konom's take on contemporary prog metal is nothing short of perfection, and gets them an easy 5 stars from me.

tempest_77 | 5/5 |


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