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CMX - Veljeskunta CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.00 | 2 ratings

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3 stars The second CMX album starts off in a somewhat similar way to their debut: a cryptic spoken word line and primitive, ritualistic drumming and chanting make it clear right from the beginning that this is not your usual Finnish rock album. But where Kolmikärki was essentially hardcore punk, Veljeskunta ('Brotherhood') is more like indie rock - not far from The Pixies, actually, except for the lyrics being in Finnish and the overall feel being a bit more on the heavy side. The band's hardcore roots can still be heard throughout the album, most obviously on songs like the violently playful Vaskiperse ("Brass Arse").

The lyrical themes and the mythical contexts they're set in are quite similar to the ones on the debut, but the way they're dealt with is strikingly more concrete and tangible. Like the circle of rocks on the album cover, the songs too stand firmly on the ground. Although the lyrics are far from self-explanatory, there's an intrinsic unity in them that makes them a lot easier to try and interpret than the ones on Kolmikärki. Instead of throbbing furiously here and there the songs focus on building up a mood, in some cases even a story.

It's not just with the lyrics that the band has moved towards a more refined expression. Although most of the tracks rely on a tight rhytmic base, there are a lot of great melodies as well, and even though the band's sound is anything but commercial, most of the songs on this album are more straightforward than complex. The chorus and the clever, Johnny Marresque guitar riff of Rytmitehdas ("The Rhythm Factory") are among the band's most memorable ones, and the closing track Tulikiveä ("Of Fiery Stone") with its clean vocals and ethereal mood captures the band's sensitive side perhaps better than any other track in their whole discography.

Not all of the songs are memorable though, and side two is significantly more uneven than the consistently strong side one. I could live perfectly fine without hearing songs like "Ääni ja vimma" ("The Sound and the Fury") and "Tanssitauti" ("Dance Disease") ever again. The former has a (deliberately?) annoying chorus and the latter has not only a jarring melody but also one of the least noteworthy lyrics A. W. Yrjänä has ever written.

That said, as a whole Veljeskunta is not a weak album - and it definitely isn't an uninteresting one. There is, however, a slightly unfinished and patchy feel to it. The songs range from brilliant to mediocre, and all of the mediocre ones have been a bit awkwardly placed on side two. Finally, with the prog elements being less notable here than on some other CMX albums, Veljeskunta gets three stars from me on this site. All in all a good album, but (to most people here) not an essential one.

Vompatti | 3/5 |


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