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Nurkostam - XIII CD (album) cover





2.89 | 16 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'XIII' - Nurkostam (6/10)

A few years before Nurkostam would release any sort of follow up, this first EP 'XIII' was the only thing that this Finnish art rock trio had out. When compared to their mellow and dreamy full-lengths, 'XIII' shows the band starting out as a significantly more dynamic act. Over the course of half an hour, the band sounds like an apostle of the almighty Van Der Graaf Generator, an organ heavy affair that sometimes wanders down the road to ambient music. Although there are few surprises down the road of this EP, 'XIII' is arguably a better put-together album than their second release, and an impressive- albeit moderately so- record to listen to.

The impression that was given to me after a single listen to the album was that it was fairly boring, uneventful, and could have used a few cups of coffee for both the songwriting and wandering performance. In this sense, I am glad that I revisited the EP. With the trick opener 'Iscream' luring the listener into the false sense that this is a hard rocking EP, the rest of the music here falls under a much different category; a keyboards driven, melancholic and psychedelic batch of songs. 'Dome' sounds much like a typical piece of '70s prog rock, complete with its own guitar solo, but by the time 'Alone' and 'Between' come along, Nurkostam have fallen in deep with their dreamy style, although there's still a few King Crimson-esque hard rock flairs to keep the dynamic going. To be truthful, Nurkostam's attempts at heaviness are rather weak, lacking much in the way of passion. It is clear after even a couple of listens that the band is not meant to be making heavy music in any way, shape, or form, but instead they should stick to their melancholic mellowness. Sadly, they would indeed go down this route with their second album 'III Of Dreamers', but it would not turn out nearly as well as I might have hoped.

'XIII' is a quiet album for those brooding, rainy days of sadness, and while it certainly does not feel like the work of professionals, Nurkostam's laid back approach to prog rock has some beauty to experience with it.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |


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