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Noekk - The Grimalkin CD (album) cover

THE GRIMALKIN

Noekk

 

Experimental/Post Metal

4.00 | 7 ratings

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hdfisch
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 4,5 stars really!

After I've listened a couple of times to NOEKK's quickly produced debut which appealed much to me despite its imperfection I ordered immediately their second one without having heard a single note from it before. I should mention that this is not something I do regularly since I usually hate wasting my money on mispurchases. But what a nice surprise when I've put this CD the first time into my player! It really could fascinate me right from the beginning though the tracklist is telling already that this is not a simple song-based album. Three tracks only, one of them having 20 minutes - that reminds pretty much to classic 70's prog. And like on their first one already this is as well the main influence on here. But the difference to "The Water Sprite" is that "The Grimalkin" is a much more uniform and coherent album dominated by a somber and mythic atmosphere and the classically trained vocals by Thomas Helm (aka Funghus Baldachin). Most probably people having problems with such a (admittedly quite pathetic but never icky) voice and this type of continuously dreary mood will hardly find any pleasure here. Neither would I recommend this band to those ones preferring nicely structured songs, hook lines and technical perfection. Though certainly this one has been produced much more carefully than their first one all vocal parts on here are first takes according to the band members' own words. "Noekk's music is created by intuition. It comes to me when I'm on my own and I can listen to my inner voice" says Funghus Baldachin who's the driving force within the duo. His intention is to catch the magic of the moment and to tell long and weird stories by his music.

So what can we expect musically from this record? As said already we have here organ and Mellotron dominated retro sound but neither your usual hard edged retro/neo symphonic prog nor any DT-flavoured prog metal. Rather is it a truly innovative blend of old-school prog and hardrock style presented in a very modern garment. Baldachin describes their music as a mixture of progrock with touches of folk and even doom metal. He recommends this album especially to Prog fans who are probably not really the right clientele for his other projects EMPYRIUM and THE VISION BLEAK. But of course this is just a very rough description of the three well-elaborated compositions on here. Basically the music alternates between more contemplative and pastoral sections, acoustic ones that bring slightly OPETH into mind and organ-driven heavy metal ones with some oriental flavor at times. Though there isn't an obvious difference in quality of the tracks I'm personally preferring a bit the last one. Whenever I listen to this album in an appropriate mood (I'd recommend to listen to it on a quiet and reflective evening) I get completely lost in space and time by its music and after it has finished my only thought is that it's much too short.

Although this release is still very recent I'm already quite certain that it will develop to one of my all time favs. Thus I'd be highly tempted to rate it with the full score. But being aware that this is just my very own impression and it might be not suitable for any prog fan generally I'll keep my enthusiasm under control. Anyway I think it deserves for sure 4 stars since it's really an excellent album and should appeal to any open-minded prog fan and admirers of KING CRIMSON, ANEKDOTEN, LANDBERK, OPETH, ANATHEMA, GREEN CARNATION or IN THE WOODS.

hdfisch | 4/5 |

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