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Nurkostam - -C- CD (album) cover





2.55 | 15 ratings

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Andy Webb
Special Collaborator
Retired Admin
3 stars An Unfinished Pearl

Nurkostam is a relatively underground young neo-prog formed in Finland in 1998. The band's first seven years of existence were spent playing live and developing their unique sound. The band blended countless influences, ranging from the psychedelic prog rock expanses of Pink Floyd to the symphonic graces of Yes to the experimental nature of King Crimson to the alternative rock tastes of Pearl Jam. The band was debuted with their first EP, XII, in 2005. The band released nothing else until 2009, when they released their first full length album, III of Dreamers, and finished the year with their second EP and second 2009 release, -C-. The EP displays much of the same qualities found on their first EP, as well as new twists that were incorporated from their full length album. On the EP, the listener can hear the band's innumerable influences, ranging from gentle symphonic prog, funky passages, gloomy rock sections, and so much more. The compositions, nine relatively short pieces, range in intensity and emotion, but they all share a certain damning quality; they all seem mostly undeveloped and unfinished from their potential. Although the production is spectacular (although the drum machine is an odd addition to their sound), I feel the music could be more developed, which gives the EP an overall rather unfinished feel.

The album again has an opener that is redolent to the band's two prior albums: it is virtually opposite to the rest of the album! The opener, "The Pearl Song" is a pleasant funky track, full of great bass lines and interesting rhythmic structure. The rest of the EP, however, has only traces of this funk influence, with most of it being mellow rock ranging from symphonic, acoustic, alternative, and folky types. The instrumentation is similar to much of the band's music as well, with mellow, non-virtuous, but determined strumming, drumming, and thumping (bass lines). Nothing overly special, but enough emotion to give the music energy and appeal. The vocals are redolent to the band's previous music as well, with minorly strained yet melancholically melodic vocal work that gives the music subtle harmony and an interesting quality. Overall, the performance and production are very good, showing the great progress this band has made in its 11 years of existence.

Overall, the EP -C- is a good release by the band, but is nothing special. The compositions leave me dry for the most part, but the music retains a very subtle quality that shows their love of what they do. The depth and complexity of the music may be lacking, but the band still comes out in the end with an overall decent outing of creative and eclectic prog rock. Although it's not neo-prog through-and-through, the music has some neo qualities, such as the obvious 70s-Genesis-in-an-80s-way that presents itself occasionally on the EP, and various other little tidbits of influence that pops up here and there. In the end, -C- , although not being the greatest EP ever made, is a decent showing for this young Finnish trio. 3- stars.

Andy Webb | 3/5 |


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