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CMX - Aura CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.97 | 8 ratings

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4 stars Welcome, CMX, into the archives! Though I'm afraid it will be mainly for the pleasure of the Finnish members: CMX is a Finnish language rock band with only a little to do with Prog. Their early albums are more heavy and aggressive than from this album onwards, when they made their breakup into the big league and won a large audience. Well, anyone knowing my taste knows that I'm not the least interested in Metal music, so you could guess it's more or less misleading to categorize CMX as Prog Metal. (But as a live band they are known to be heavier than on the albums.)

I was thoroughly introduced to CMX by my ex-girlfriend Heidi 12 years ago (yeah, she was one of those "poet girls" adoring A.W. Yrjänä, CMX's frontman, and she even wrote some minor seminar work on Yrjänä's poetry in the university - this all just to sharpen your picture on CMX's fanbase!). I did get quite interested, I confess. Of course some (especially the earlier) stuff was not my cup of tea, but frankly even the rock edge of CMX did very good to my taste at the time, after some years I concentrated on sophisticated pop á la NITS, Vocal Entertainment/ Jazz Music, New Age and other "soft" music. Maybe CMX felt like a fresh combination of strong ROCK and artistic, poetic identity in their music. This album was - and actually still is - my favourite. A near-perfect rock album that very likely is on the lists of The Best Finnish Albums of the Nineties - or of All-Time, for that matter.

It has songs full of rock energy, such as the powerful 'Elokuun kruunu' ("August Crown"), or 'Nainen tanssii tangoa' ("Lady Dancing Tango") in which they also ironize Mantovani-style music amusingly. Then there are slower songs with a deep, melancholic atmosphere and in which the poetic side comes strongly up. And as a sugar on the bottom, if the listener is romantic mind and preferably a female, there's the serene hit 'Ruoste' ("Rust"). The songwriting and production are both extremely strong all the way. Another definite highlight is the 9½ minute 'Pilvien kuningas' ("King of Clouds"), not exactly a prog epic but still a piece of Art Rock varying from hazy and dreamy to climactic burst, surely enjoyable to any prog listener.

OK, let's face the truth: I'd give Aura full rating if I was to rate this objectively as a Finnish Rock album, but in this context four stars sounds more appropriate. This is NOT the most progressive of CMX albums, instead it's the most succesful commercially, and for once the success is fully earned.

Matti | 4/5 |


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