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Nurkostam - III Of Dreamers CD (album) cover





3.00 | 16 ratings

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Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Nurkostam: III of Dreamers [2009]

Rating: 4/10

This second album from Finnish group Nurkostam is a demonstrable improvement over the first. On XIII, it was obvious that these three musicians were trying to find a musical identity for themselves. The result was a shoddily-composed album that was all over the place; the band had no definitive goal or philosophy behind their music. I was thus happy when I listened to III of Dreamers because it is a much more focused work, and the band actually manages to develop a sound here. Still, Nurkostam is far from striking gold on this release. This is a melodic art-rock album based around mellow instrumentation. Some other reviewers have compared this album to Sigur Ros, but I disagree; this album may be mellow, but it is not ethereal. Although the band is indeed developing compositional maturity, this album still utterly fails to connect with me.

'Overture (Ulrich)' opens the album with a fairly catchy drum/synth groove, but the track doesn't really go anywhere. 'The Camel Song' is the strongest track on the album, with lush Mellotron and acoustic guitar creating excellent atmosphere. The vocals are less than stellar, though. 'Ocean' is a short and un-compelling guitar-based instrumental. The same can be said of the pastoral, piano-centered 'The Dreamer', even though the flute does sound nice. 'Almost Famous' begins with unremarkable guitar strumming, but Native-American sounding vocals soon enter in, making this a fairly interesting track. I actually enjoy the vocals on 'Dike', but it's an unexceptional track overall. The band makes a big mistake by introducing heaviness on 'Motherside', causing the song to be a complete dud. In addition, the very end of this track blatantly rips off the middle section of 'Ritual' by Yes. The lengthy closer 'Anon' bogs itself down with spoken-word passages, but the band makes a slightly successful attempt at climatic songwriting during the latter half of the piece.

Although Nurkostam laid the seeds for an excellent album here, the final product is dragged down by numerous passages that are nothing short of dull. Even the stronger moments are weakened by rather boring and uninspired instrumentation. This is in no way a bad album; in fact, it's fairly decent. However, I continue to feel little to no passion in the music. This is ultimately the central problem with Nurkostam's music, and the main factor preventing them from achieving excellence. This average album will not offend listeners, but it certainly will not excite them, either.

Anthony H. | 2/5 |


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