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Indukti - Idmen CD (album) cover

IDMEN

Indukti

Experimental/Post Metal


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Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Eclectic Prog Team
1 stars Loud and belligerent, this is little more than a muddy assault on the ears. Understanding anything is completely out of the question because the vocals are uncompromisingly aggressive. It's unfortunate, really, because the band has talent and almost each track shows some degree of promise. Frankly, if there's one album for 2009 I could safely say I won't be hearing again, it's this one.

"Sansara" A slaughter of noise begins this opener, which has the drums extremely loud alongside an almost equally loud bathing of overdriven guitar. The violin has a unique sound to it, in that, while it's smothered by the other instruments, it almost has a woodwind tone to it. Almost six minutes into it is when it really gets enjoyable though, with gorgeous twelve-string guitar, thudding bass, more respectable (read: quieter) drums, and exquisite violin.

"Tusan Homichi Tuvota" I simply can't fault the tense twelve-string acoustic guitar and the extremely creative and expressive composition of the music. It's the vocals that ruin it, unfortunately. They don't fit the music at all, and sound like a drunk old man imitating a ghoul in some dank catacombs, with an equally drunk friend carrying on beside him with a giddy falsetto. The silly growling sounds like the vocalist is unsuccessfully trying to dislodge a half-pound load of phlegm from his throat.

"Sunken Bell" This instrumental interlude sounds like cinematic music for a gritty movie set in the humid jungles of some godforsaken tribal land.

"And who's the God now?!..." Heavy tribal drumming and ritualistic, hissed chants make me think Indiana Jones will come whipping his way across my living room any moment. Once again, the vocals are over-aggressive and unpleasant, which is similarly true for the guitars. There's a little bit of dynamics here, but for the most part, it's just a barrage of noise that doesn't sit well with me. The ending is an incomprehensible and brutally awful wave of nonsense, yodeling, screeching, feedback, and chanting.

"Indukted" This should appeal to anyone who likes his metal mindless and noisy. From the beginning, it's nothing but horrible-sounding guitars, clunking drums, and hideous synthetic noises. The intriguing work at the very end can't make up for it.

"Aemaet" Dreadfully high-pitched guitar cuts through more thrash- I hesitate to use the term "music." Mercifully, the piece gets quiet, and, using light cymbals, synthesizer and easygoing bass, the band paints a hypnotic and decent segment.

"Nemesis Voices" One of the more creative pieces, this opens with three distinct guitars playing different lines that weave in and out of one another. Surprisingly, the vocals are understandable, if only just. This is a far more enjoyable composition comparatively speaking, especially with the guitar, bass, and violin interplay in the final moments.

"Ninth Wave" Gloomily atmospheric in the beginning, the longest track on the album is a real relief, particularly with the lovely (did I just use that adjective in describing this album?) acoustic guitar and trumpet in the distance. The drummer shows some praiseworthy restraint in the beginning, but that is short-lived, as he gradually begins to drown out the other instruments. Very soon, it's back to the onslaught of brutal metal, although the calm exquisiteness of the opening few minutes is eventually revisited.

Report this review (#229454)
Posted Saturday, August 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars After the really strong debut S.U.S.A.R., Indukti recorded more mature and diverse album called Idmen, a great piece of intense and touching music.

Having been impressed by the first album of this young Polish band I was impatiently looking forward to the second one since the info about working on the new material had appeared. Finally, having the CD I can simply say that to me Indukti has become one of the most original bands from this part of Europe which plays heavier and darker sounds. Indukti has found their own way to play well crafted mixture of different influences, mainly metal/experimental and progressive rock with a touch of ethno.

The metaphor used by the band to describe the new album-'Strenght, rebellion, indian tales, sunken bells, love, chaos, agony, mad power'-perfectly reflects the essence of their music. These quite long songs are characterized by the diverse and original arrangements, so you can enjoy the journey through the impresive soundscape, from the quite nostalgic touch of the dusk to the blow of the storm. Guys from Indukti are really accomplished musicians and they know how to absorb you for over an hour. One of the main instruments in Indukti is violin, which makes their music more intense and atmospheric in other parts. The gentle tones of the violin build a nice contrast with the heavier guitars and strong rhytm section led by phenomenal drums. Other instruments appearing on Idmen, which support the creation of the main picture, are dulcimer and trumpet. The parts with trumpet are truly moving and make the song 'Ninth Wave' one of the best in the whole album.

Mostly instrumental Idmen contains three songs with the guests vocals. This time you can hear musicians from SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM, ROOTWATER and PRISMA. each of them presents different style -from more experimental and quite freaky way of singing by Nils from SGM to more gentle tones by Michael from Prisma which evokes vocal of Keenan from TOOL. The vocal of Taff from Rootwater is somewhere in between. They all did a good job however my favourite piece of vocal is Nils passionate interpretation of the Hopi Indians tale where even growling is playing its role.

Highly recommended album for all advanced fans of progressive metal/experimental.

8/10

Report this review (#230554)
Posted Saturday, August 8, 2009 | Review Permalink
debrewguy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
1 stars A final straw that explains to me why InsideOut went under - I caved in and ordered it through Amazon. My local record shop has not had much luck getting any "special" orders for InsideOut acts. King's X's latest was a big blow. Especially as I had sampled it through P2P, and then placed an order for it, all excited about supporting a favourite band of mine, despite the "free" option that was readily available in the web's wild west frontier economics. Repeated requests failed to get anything from InsideOut's distributor.

SO I overcame my reluctance and ordered Idmen through a web store ... after all, I truly want to support my favourite bands.

I even bought this album despite the fact that Frank's Music (,my local record shop), had several albums that I am still waiting to be able to fit into my music buying budget -Steve Earle, the Matadors, les Colocs, a few Saga releases.

So let me get to the point. This release is Susar part II. Or, to put it another way, if Metallica's Reload was essentially the leftovers from Load, then these are the leftovers from Susar.

They are not bad, they are not a torture to listen to. But to me, the album as a whole, and each of the songs are but pale imitations, almost clones of Susar's great compositions. And frankly, all I want to do is ditch this disc full of dung and put Susar on. Actually, the taste left in my mouth , o.k., ears, makes me put on Octahedron.

At this point in time, when I listen to the new Mars Volta, even when I play a narrow styled band like AC/DC and their latest - Black Ice - I wonder how could Indukti go so dry in the inspiration department so quick.

This disappointment with the group's music, added to my inability to buy a group's music through a label that went under for lack of "support", add up to a major negative reaction to the whole prog scene's belief in the sanctity of the physical product.

I have just paid $8.88 for a download of the new Voivod album -Infini. This is through the Sonic Unyon store . I have shelled out over $50 for various Marillion downloads over the past year. My point - the hoops I had to jump through & the price I had to pay for Indukti's Idmen just amplified the eventual let down that I felt when I finally got the piece of crap.

I wish that this review could have been more about the music. But then, if one wishes to take the time, there is a strong message between the lines here. About the music featured herein, but also about reaching fans, and about new realities that "progressive" music would do well to catch up with.

I.E. , If you loved Susar, you might like this one. But then, you might be better advised to spend your hard earned money elsewhere. That is my advice, eh.

Report this review (#230661)
Posted Sunday, August 9, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Idmen is an unusual album. Glancing at the divisive reviews, it's clear a lot of people, including fans of Indukti's first (and brilliant) album S.U.S.A.R., were put off by some of the strange experiments the band took on their second time around. The record doesn't make for easy listening, and it will likely take time to get used to, but it pays off a thousandfold. Simply put it's much heavier, and even stranger, than S.U.S.A.R., and if you're not prepared to take on an hour-length onslaught of technical mastery, it's probably not for you.

But if you are, this just might be what you're after. This is the sort of music that takes your mind and mood places. Very heavy places. It's intense, unrelenting, dynamic, and if you're willing to hear some progressive metal that takes a different approach, hugely rewarding.

Track 1, Sansara, is the spiritual successor to Freder from the first album. It took a few listens before I realised this, but... the song is so awesome that it deserves to be called Freder Part 2. It plays out like the most incredible action scene ever for five minutes, with non-stop adrenaline-packed desperate guitar rhythms, then settles into a beautiful acoustic melody.

I wonder about the theme of this song, because Sansara (or Samsara) is a concept of eastern religions concerning the cycle of rebirth. Especially at the end, the melody really gives a feel for that, somehow... the whole song is like a channel of expression from the divine. Straight away it's my favourite track on the album.

If you haven't heard Freder yet, it's a preview track on Progarchives; go bless your ears with it.

The rest of Idmen takes some patience and openness to sink in, but delve in bravely...

Track 2, Tusan Homichi Tuvota, was the preview track Indukti posted for Idmen. I first heard it as an instrumental and it didn't really grab me. Now, hearing it with vocals, the effect is... very different. This is bound to take some getting used to, but after listening more than a few times, I feel Tusan Homichi is a dark metal masterpiece. Featuring the surprise element of death growling, which is bound to put some prog fans off, it builds up to one of the most incredible climaxes I've ever heard in... music. From what I can make out of the lyrics, the song tells a very strange story about a field mouse who tried to kill a hawk... so make of it what you will.

Track 3, Sunken Bell, in fantastically atmospheric. You can close your eyes in this track and imagine you're creeping through a jungle at night. It's appropriately brief and it really makes you feel. A great interlude.

Track 4, ... And Who's the God Now?! starts with a three-minute intro that reminds me of Tool's 'Reflection,' in the best way possible. Again, Indukti manages to channel something, creating a remarkable atmosphere that twists and turns through the whole song. Somehow it features full-on screams and a Spanish (or Greek?) influence AND a weird tribal chant and manages to make it all fit seamlessly. The chant at the end is bizarre. Prepare yourself.

Track 5, Indukted, is definitely my least favourite. It starts out with lots of promise; a ridiculously heavy and kickass guitar beat rolling upon itself like waves crashing violently in a storm. This goes on for two blissful minutes of heaviness before the song goes in an unexpected experimental direction that strikes me, unfortunately, as tasteless. It's technical but it just doesn't sound very good. Maybe when I'm feeling completely out of my mind I'd want to listen to this. The acoustic guitar at the end is fantastic and makes up for it but as a whole... perhaps this one still needs to grow on me.

Track 6, Aemaet, carries on in the same vein as Sansara, but it's even more technical, and there's a definite focus on drive and force rather than melody. It is awesome.

Track 7, Nemisis Voices, is... Tool. Completely. I hadn't noticed the Tool influence so much in the first album, S.U.S.A.R., but you could easily sell this off as a leaked track from the upcoming Tool album. The vocalist delivers my favourite performance of the three guest stars on the album, and sounds like a perfect mix between Mariusz of Riverside (who appeared on S.U.S.A.R.) and Maynard of Tool. Other than that it's a solid track, but it's probably going to annoy fans who like more originality in what they hear.

Track 8, Ninth Wave, fluctuates more than any other song on Idmen. Starting with a flowing tune featuring a very well-placed trumpet, it builds into heavy-Indukti mode and settles again, builds once more and settles again. A powerful finisher to the album, but I feel it's missing something: vocals. While Indukti is a mostly instrumental band, Ninth Wave definitely seems incomplete without a little chanting or something. I even get the impression they wanted to bring in a vocalist for this one but ran out of time, though I could of course be mistaken.

So I'd say, be open about this one. Approach with caution. Approach with an open mind. It's dark and merciless music, and the more you listen to it, the more you realise that's what's so good about it. After hearing both a few times, I'd say I prefer S.U.S.A.R. to Idmen, but they're both, ahem, 'excellent additions to any prog rock music selection' at any rate, so Idmen gets a solid four stars from me. Great effort, and I'd love to see them live to hear how its driving energy translates to the stage. Pick it up if you dare and enjoy!

Report this review (#233324)
Posted Friday, August 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I really didn't think INDUKTI could top their debut "S.U.S.A.R" but this may have done just that. First of all this is very different from their debut, an album that I considered a masterpiece.This is heavier, darker and meaner. So if you can't handle heavy Experimental / Post Metal you should stay away like the two reviewers above me should have. This will probably be my album of the year for 2009 unless Steven Wilson blows me away with the new PT album that's coming out. Lets just say I would be surprised if it will top this. We get three guest vocalists who suit the music perfectly, i'll talk about them when we get to the songs they sing on.

"Sansara" opens with an all out assault as the drums pound heavily and the violin playing over top of the riffs. A thunderous soundscape that really doesn't let up until after 5 minutes when we hear guitar feedback, then before 6 minutes a gorgeous melody with violin takes over.This continues to the end. Nice. A killer instrumental ! "Tusan Homichi Tuvola" sounds so good early with the drums, violin and acoustic guitar. Vocals from Nils (SLEEPYTIME GORILLA MUSEUM) arrive after a minute.This reminds me of IN THE WOODS... because Nils sounds so tortured and the sound is heavy, dark and mid-paced. A change before 3 1/2 minutes as the vocals are spoken and the percussion becomes prominant. The vocals and sound becomes violent 5 1/2 minutes in.This is awesome ! Intense ! "Hawk kills chickens ! Hawk kills rabbits !". Spoken words are back with lots of heaviness. It kicks in even heavier. Vocals are so passionate. "The next day would be a great day !...monster hawk will surely die..." Incredible ! It blends into "Sunken Bell" with percussion and a lot of atmosphere.This is dark and mysterious. Love it. "...And Who's The God Now ?!" opens with tribal-like drumming as guitar joins in. It's building.Vocals repeat the same line over and over. "It's a sin...not mine". It kicks in after 2 1/2 minutes. Here we go ! The singer is Maciej Taff from ROOTWATER. He wrote this song too. Love the way he screams here and the heavy onslaught. It settles with strummed guitar after 5 minutes.Vocals return. It sounds like a bunch of headhunters chanting to end it.

"Indukted" opens with all hell breaking loose. A punishing assault ! It settles some a minute in but it's still heavy. It's eerie after 3 minutes. Strummed guitar after 6 minutes as it settles to end it. This instrumental rocks hard. "Aemaet" opens with screaming guitar and slicing violin as drums come pounding in. It's building. Oh my ! It settles after 3 minutes. I like the atmosphere here. I really like the drumming after 5 1/2 minutes,then it kicks in heavily. Hell ya ! A calm 8 minutes in as it blends into "Nemesis Voices". The calm doesn't last long (haha). Guitars come grinding in as it builds. Drums join in. Vocals a minute in from Michael Laginbuehl from PRISMA who also wrote the lyrics. This is heavy. Vocals whisper briefly when it settles then again later. Intense ! A stampede of drums to end it. "Ninth Wave" is my favourite. It opens with the sound of waves and seagulls. Pastoral sounds come in and take over including trumpet. The guest trumpet here is brilliant throughout this track. Drums 2 minutes in.The tempo picks up 3 1/2 minutes in. Killer sound ! Unbelieveable ! No words. Emotion is all I have. It settles before 6 minutes with violin then it kicks in after 7 1/2 minutes.The drumming is amazing as it has been throughout this album. The trumpet wails. Violin before 11 minutes as waves and seagulls return to end it.

I can't praise this enough. I'd like to thank Ewa, Maciej, Piotr, Andrzej and Wawrzyniec (your a beast man !) for making this album.Thankyou !

Report this review (#234247)
Posted Saturday, August 22, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog-jester
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars I don't know what has happened to INDUKTI, but "Idmen" sounds directionless. It's like a collection of jams, structureless, weird, switching one genre to another. Growling? I don't mind it, but HERE? I beg pardon.

We all remember how good it used to be. Very TOOLish/CRIMSO-inspired instrumental Rock, that brought a new and fresh breath in Prog-Metal. Five years wait ends with...I don't even know how to call THIS. A collection of rough and misplaced tracks played by a band of musicians who are unsure of what they're doing. OK, some of tracks are least listenable ("Nemesis Voices" and "Ninth Wave" are even somewhat good), but I'd NOT recommend "Idmen" to anyone. Begin with INDUKTI's debut first

Report this review (#235856)
Posted Sunday, August 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
Negoba
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Jaw Dropping Prog Goth Metal Masteripiece

When I first ordered Indukti's SUSAR, I was astounded. The sounds were so unique and fresh, dark and ethereal, it completely blew me away. My first impression was 5+ stars, but luckily I didn't write my review the first night I bought the album. Over time, it became clear that the band's gradual twisting and turning of their riffs lacked a little in terms of songwriting. I still like the album quite a bit, but it hasn't held up to multiple listens. (In opposition to most prog which gets better the more you dig).

Idmen equalled, if not eclipsed, SUSAR's overwhelming first impression. I listened to the album 3-4 times the first night I bought and felt like I was listening to music composed by one of the Nazgul. Goth ethos is always about dark fantasy, and in this case it feels like we're hearing the soundtrack for the Dark Lord's entrance into Armageddon. The most obvious changes are that the music is more brutal and heavier than SUSAR, which is no small feat. Mariusz Dzuda's ethereal vocals are replaced by three vocalists, the softest of which sounds like a very good Maynard James Keenan clone. The first two sound like demons, combining many different vocal tonalities including the most music appropriate harsh vocals I have ever heard. The first comes courtesy of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum's mastermind N. Frykdahl, who tells a story of a hero mouse's quest as if he were a psychotic witch doctor about to march to his own death.

The more subtle difference between Idmen and SUSAR is the improvement in songwriting. There is better use of contrast and movement to maintain interest on this album, more ideas packed into each song. Still, some of the instrumentals (especially Indukted and Aemaet) are begging for vocals. And despite the fact that this band packs complex times and syncopation at will, it happens so seamlessly that even the straightest metal fans will still thinks rocks hard. This is inarguably very prog, but could be put on at a (very metal or goth) party and still keep the energy going. In fact, the music sounds like the soundtrack to a dark universe, Matrix or Sin City or something of the sort.

The first four songs are sensational, some of the best goth metal or prog metal I've heard in awhile. The fourth "And Who's the God now?" is the best, a dark tribal piece with so much going on that you feel like you're be pulled under lava. The next two, as mentioned, might be improved with vocals but are still quite good, complex, multiple sounds, brutal. The seventh "Nemesis Voices" is a very good song in the Tool / Perfect Circle mode, excellent but derivative. The final long instrumental is a mood piece that progresses from soft acoustic guitars and a distant trumpet (a la Queensryche's "Promised Land") but progresses to fully on fury with meticulously executed blast beats and a monstrous guitar tone where the bass and guitars merge into one collossal juggernaut of sound. Finally, the music receded again to gentle waves and we are left exhausted but happy.

The band has evolved for the better, communicating more with their music while retaining their love of complexity. I miss the harp, and the violin sits further back in the mix than on SUSAR. After repeated listens, the songs hold up much better, though I still search for a lead point of interest in places as I mentioned.

This is a must have for fans of goth metal. This is so far ahead of Tiamat, Anathema, Paradise Lost, though all those bands have their place. This is a must for lovers of Tool, post-metal, and experimental metal, though the band really doesn't sit in any of those categories well. If Ulver combined their sounds of metal and electronic ambience into a prog monster, that might be the closest comparison.

Though not without a few flaws, this is an excellent 4-5 star piece of progressive metal.

Report this review (#237340)
Posted Saturday, September 5, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars I cannot believe the bad reviews this album as received and also cannot understand why this masterpiece is not in the top 100 for this year, should be number 1. This their second album is a great improvement on SUSAR, itself a great debut. True it's not for the faint hearted and anyone stuck in the seventies is not going to like this but if you are open minded and like inventive music with bite, you may like to give this a listen.

The big influence from the past is clearly King Crimson Larks Tongues/ Starless/ Red, include some Tool and then mix in some RIO and you will have an idea what to expect, expect the unexpected.

Straight from the start this is one of the most evil sounding albums i've heard in my forty- eight years of life. Sansara goes straight for the throat and doesn't let go, heavy guitar chords ala Tool (themselves influenced by King Crimson) with some great violin ala David Cross, odd time signitures, stop start rhythm and extremely powerful. Tusan Homichi Tuvota starts slowly, wierdly, wonderfully with acoustic instruments, the violin plays a lovely melody and slowly increases it's power with wonderful vocals from Seepytimes Nils Frykdahl who gets crazier as the track progresses to it's climax, my second favourite on the album. A short but lovely interlude with soundscapes, trumpet and percussion then comes ...and who's the God now? with vocals by Macief Taff. The drums start a powerful tribal rhythm with the vocals slowly coming in with a repeated lyric as the guitars get louder and slowly everything starts to jell together. This is standard metal fare compared to the other tracks on this album and my least favourite track but although I say that it as nice touches here and there with some acoustic rhythm guitars and some nice great violin. Indukted is their Red, heavy guitar with a pounding stop start beat, this is the track that sounds mostly like King Crimson ala 2000. So much so that if this was on a new Crimson album with Fripp and Belew trading noise I for one would be very happy. Aemaet continues in this vain with heavy guitars and a scratching violin, in fact they could have called this Indukted II. Nemesis Voices starts with some strange noices over a repeated guitar motif and violin then the vocals of Michael Luginbuehi from Prisma come in and we're with Tool again. Like the last vocal track this is standard rock music, the violin is strong as on all the tracks and this keeps it above standard rock music. The last track Ninth Wave is my favourite on the album. It starts with seagulls, acoustic instruments and Trumpet. Over it's period of 11.32 minutes it builds from spanish sounding trumpet to the heavy chords and violin. The Trumpet here played by Robert Majewski reminds me of Mark Isham on some David Sylvian songs but the music is far more powerful. Then it slows down again with wonderful violin and again Trumpet before building to its exciting climax. The Drums on this track are exceptional.

This is the best album since Opeth released Watershed last year and unless Porcupine Tree's new album is the best thing they have done I cannot see anyone else coming close, not even Riverside's new album is this good and although I love Maudlin of the Well's part the second I think this one just edges it for me.

Report this review (#238386)
Posted Thursday, September 10, 2009 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Errors and Omissions Team
2 stars Guitar is not so original here, huh ? Playing basically one riff all over the place, most of the time. As with this genre of music, I follow one rule. As long as it's listenable, I can appreciate it. But sadly, there are (as somebody wise pointed out) mostly noises and unpleasant music. OK, there has to be innovation and also a rebellion, but how far can it go ? This record has gone quite far. They are able to, they can. But in that case, I can't think so well about it. Only better tracks (yawn, by my opinion, I don't feel good repeating myself) are last two, Nemesis Voices and Ninth Wave, which reminds me Opeth's Watershed a lot. But the rest, I have nothing to catch by, nowhere to hook on and start something. This whole record is so hostile, that it's either me, or this album, but it's not because I hate style (as long as it lacks death metal growl, I'm happier by 1 star), or that I simply don't like this music. It's about what is this album offering. And I don't see much good things here.

2(+), but almost non-listenable, at least for me. And also except last 2 tracks, which raises the rating. I'm not against hard to get into music (I have to mention these bearded (I mean many times mentioned by me) Van Der Graaf Generator. This is also hard to get into music and voilá, I like most of their work. Same with Frank Zappa, or Gentle Giant. Even Magma. But this is ridiculous. I don't see almost no good here), I'm against irrelevant music. Music which can give you nothing.

Experimenting is a good thing. It's big part of prog. But if you make something so experimental, that it's unlistenable, then what. Rate it as perfect masterpiece, even if you can't stand it, not even after many listens ? Look, I've tried. After I wrote this review, I was thinking about what people brought to 1 and 5 stars ratings. And I saw my side more on 1 star.

Report this review (#238396)
Posted Thursday, September 10, 2009 | Review Permalink
Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Love or hate?

It amuses me that after 30 prior ratings/reviews Idmen has only one 3-star rating. I guess that qualifies it for the tag of a "love/hate" album with folks on both sides expressing themselves accordingly. From my perspective the music lies somewhere in between these ratings, Idmen being an album that perfectly exemplifies the 3-star rating at PA. Not a "poor" album, not strictly "for fans", but not quite an "excellent addition to any collection" and certainly not an "essential masterpiece." When I first listened to samples of Idmen I was blown away and thought perhaps I was listening to something profound. This impression did not hold up after spinning the full album over time. I am not someone put off by the ingredients in the Indukti stew, I can appreciate heaviness, experimentalism, harsh vocals, and dark themes. But I need it to go somewhere more interesting, offer more variation, and push some emotional buttons somewhere inside of me. Indukti has never done the latter much for me on either album, and on this one succeed less well on the two former points. A cacophonous wall of endless oppression, where the variable components are pleasant but sometimes seem like arbitrary afterthought. There are moments on "sansara" and "aemaet" where I nearly have to scream "alright, we get it!" I personally feel they over-utilize the heaviness factor and thus reduce its effectiveness. Sometimes that works but in this case it struggled to remain interesting. On the upside, I recognize the talent of the individuals and appreciate some of what they are trying to do here. I believe people should hear the work and decide for themselves if this is compelling or simply gut-crunching tedium. "Ninth wave" is the longest track and my favorite of the set, showing a nice progression from a peaceful beginning of birds and acoustic guitars to the unsettling trumpet ushering in a shift of mood, then slowly the heaviness descends like a thunderstorm until we are in Tool territory. The storm breaks past midpoint again and we are treated to nice violin and trumpet, though the threat of the heaviness is never far removed. This is a pretty inspired and thoughtful track, but I don't believe it is sustained enough through 63 minutes for a higher rating. While some great moments are found within, too much of the album just hangs on me like wet clothes, the moods being a place I can appreciate but the expression of those moods only occasionally pulled off with success. Fans of Susar should appreciate this one as well, expect Idmen to be a sludgier, more complex, longer, and darker affair. I just wish I could say it was a significant improvement, instead, it's a sideways drift in terms of overall quality. A true mixed bag.

Report this review (#240603)
Posted Sunday, September 20, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars I can't say I'm a fan of this one. I'm not really sure what the goal was here, but I didn't get it. The music itself sparked interest in certain areas, but there were also very boring parts, and then ones that were complete turn-offs. I hated the vocals. They were very annoying; especially in the second track. Do they intent to sounds like cavemen or what? The three standout tracks for me were the first, sixth and eighth. Not favorites, but I could withstand them and show moderate interest. Probably not gonna listen to this again. If you're into dark, eccentric, goth/death/black-like metal, then I'm sure you'll like this. I'd say give it a whirl.
Report this review (#241169)
Posted Thursday, September 24, 2009 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
5 stars The year 2009 has been a pretty strong one. Even with another quarter to go it not only added decent albums from known favourites such as Riverside, PT and Osi (even Megadeth and Depeche Mode have their act together again!); there were also a lot of albums that introduced me to bands I didn't know yet: Miosis, Astra, Decemberists, Dredg and the band under inspection here, Indukti.

I have quite a few albums in my catalogue but even so, Indukti manages to sound very much unlike anything else I've heard. They are a progressive, mainly instrumental, experimental, mental heavy metal band. So don't expect overdressed goofs making the horn sign as their main way of communication here. This band is in it for the music!

Now you all want some clue what they are all about. A first obvious reference would be the instrumental side of King Crimson (albums Red, The Power to Believe): lots of chromatic guitar progressions with even some frippertronics as on Aemaet. The band also has a violin player in their ranks which makes the KC reference even stronger. But it's made a lot heavier and louder by throwing in some thrash metal staccato and double-kicks drums, heavy distortions and loud mastering.

Other references, I don't know really. They are sometimes qualified as post-metal but they don't apply much of the repetitious improvisational attitude from that genre. All songs are very much composed and progress through different themes and moods.

Anyway, the resulting sound is very much their own and bound to drive unexpected listeners into opposite directions. From overawed devotion down to categorical disregard. Some of this discord stems from the guest singers on this album. Well, they sure are on the gruff and gothic side of things but, only 3 out 8 songs do feature vocals, so even if you're not into them, it's no reason to discard this album. And if they really put you off, you could still pick up their debut which features the adorable voice of Mariusz Duda.

Report this review (#242576)
Posted Saturday, October 3, 2009 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars What an amazing sophomore effort this is! It hasn't really been that long since Polish prog-metal quintet Indukti had pleasantly surprised a large amount of prog connoisseurs and collectors all over the world with their debut release "S.U.S.A.R.", but now in the second half of 2009, their second album "Idmen" happens to be a solid improvement on that, and it works not only in terms of exploring more colorful sonic schemes but also in terms of delivering a tighter sound overall. This band has always been proficient at inserting massive degrees of experimental and eclectic vibes into its core prog-metal sound, something inherently demanded by the fact that one of the band's members plays violin ? no conventional rock can come from that, not even "conventional prog rock". Well, the musical structure of the repertoire comprised in "Idmen" features elements from math-rock, experimental metal a-la Tool, psychedelically driven fusion a-la Gordian Knot, as well as some industrial resources. Also, the occasional presence of guests at trumpet and cimbalom provides a rich source of variety and textures. 'Sansara' opens up the album with rocking splendor, showing how well the dual guitars integrate each other's phrases while the rhythmic basis is developed robustly and the violin mingles in fluidly. Shortly before arriving at the 5 minute mark, the piece slows down a bit and focuses on a moderate dominance of acoustic moods. 'Tusan Homichi Tuvota' starts with an amalgam of acoustic guitars and cimbalom, in this way generating a deceitful calm that soon enough gives in at the emergence of neurotic metallic pulsations, fueled with agile exotic ambiences. The presence of Nils Frykdahl (of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum) on vocals is a crucial help regarding the creation of uneasy intensity and euphorically gloomy atmospheres. Arguably, this is the album's pinnacle? But not the end of it, since 'Sunken Bell' follows, providing a moment of mysterious cosmic nuances (like a David Lynch's movie soundtrack), and right after that, 'And Who' Your God Now?' brings a sinister approach to fusion- infected prog metal. In fact, the sinister factor reaches an electrifying climax of magic and madness in the delirious coda's ritualistic cadences. 'Indukted' is yet another expression of sophisticated thunderstorm Indkuti-style, in some ways seasoned with math-rock oriented tricks. 'Aemet' begins as a continuation of the implacable neurosis that had been delivered in the previous track, and ends equally: in the middle, a spacey interlude brings back some memories of pre-"In Absentia" Porcupine Tree. 'Nemesis Voices' is basically based on a recapitulation of the sort of mood we found before in tracks 1 and 6. The album's last 11 ˝ minutes are occupied by 'Ninth Wave', which delivers a powerful ending for "Idmen". It gets started with contemplative ambiences (featuring mesmerizing lines on trumpet). Further on, a delicious acoustic guitar duet settles a simplistic framework from which a warm, mysterious mood emerges and fills the whole environment in which the listener remains sitting comfortably (will they be still sitting comfortably by then?). The crescendo that starts at the 3 minute mark is led by the trio of violin and 2 guitars, and so the main body states yet another great example of intelligent energy. The insertion of a brief fusion-esque interlude is funny but not distracting. Finally, the sounds of sea waves and seagull screams signal a special epilogue for this special progressive 2009's gem. Indukti progresses, indeed.
Report this review (#248295)
Posted Thursday, November 5, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Charmingly Hideous

Idmen has quickly become a 2009 favorite of mine, albeit a bizarre one. With their sopohmore effort, Indukti unveils a textured improvement on their debut- S.U.S.A.R. While most of S.U.S.A.R. can be easily compared to the Thrak-era KC, Idmen dives a bit deeper into the sinister realm, due largely in part to some aggressive vocals. And although I can't get enough of this album, I can see why it gets such mixed reviews. Idmen is quite ugly at times, but occasionally that can be a good thing! Only three tracks have vocals (different singers on all 3), and only two of them are aggressive in nature, but very fitting. To my discomfort, countless metal bands use this approach, often ruining good music, or simply sounding silly and repetitive. Not here. Much like their debut, the musicianship it technical, excellent and precise...but that was really all S.U.S.A.R. had to offer. Effective and enjoyable, but not mind-blowing. Idmen is built on the same foundation, but far more interesting and uniquely haunting.

Sansara sets the tone perfectly, mixing instruments in a way that creates an almost foreign sound. Loud, in-your-face and surprisingly melodic. Tusan Homichi takes the strangeness to a new dimension, with some of the weirdest lyrics and vocals I've ever heard. Sunken Bell is a welcome interlude, short and pretty, and a necessary divide between Tusan Homichi and the album's tour de force: ...And Who's The God Now?!, which I shall review separately. The next two songs, Indukted & Aemaet, are similar in style to the mechanical sound of S.U.S.A.R. and latter day King Crimson. More "music" than "songs", if you will. Nemesis Voices seems slightly out of place on this record, but only slightly. The vocals are alarmingly similar to Tool's front-man, enough so that I had to check the liner notes to be sure. The song is good, but I feel like the music and vocals don't entirely match one another. Closing up beautifully is Ninth Wave. It carries the same foreign vibe as the albums opening, but in a much more enchanting way. An instrumental delight that I never wish to end.

...And Who's The God Now?! takes Idmen to a much higher plateau, and is easily one of the most compelling songs I've heard in a while. It is also much catchier than most of Indukti's material, but a beast nonetheless. From the opening tribal drumming, through the explosion of sound in the middle, all the way to the chanting and cinematic ending, this is a 5 star song! The combination of musical elements and vocals on this one are beyond captivating, and it's fighting it's way to the top of the "play count" on my ipod. ...And Who's The God Now?! is no mere song, it is a journey. (too much?)

Tracks 1,2,3,4 & 8 are the standout's, and this would be a 3.75 effort if not for ...And Who's The God Now?!, which deserves an extra star on its own. - 4.75 stars, rounded down.

Idmen may be hard to digest for many, but for me it is like a scab that takes the shape of something meaningful. Grotesque, charming, powerful and haunting, all rolled up into a musical experience that leaves me pleasantly uncomfortable.

Report this review (#251796)
Posted Thursday, November 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Beside another great Polish band Riverside album, released same (2009) year, "Idmen" possibly could stay as another most interesting heavy rock work of the year. But if Riverside recorded great example of vintage progressive metal, Indukti is more experimental and future oriented band.

Complex combination of technical calculated progressive metal sound with symphonic strings/arrangements and heavy prog experimentalism gave us attractive music with many layers.

Even if you can find there many influences, the music sounds original, as no one else played before. OK, I believe vocals there is more question of taste, and not fully what I would like to hear. But common impression is great anywhere.

There are many very controversial reviews for this album. To be honest I don't know ,what is the reason. Even if the music there is not old fashioned straight forward vintage prog metal a-la Dream Theater, the level of experimentalism isn't so high to make this music hardly accessible. From another hand, the sound is enough complex, but melodic, not too much electronics, funky rhythms or hip-hop were added. May be for some this sound looks boring, what makes me wonder.

Anyway, I can compare this album in some sense with my beloved early The Mars Volta albums. Just without chaos, nervous cacophony and hyper-psychedelic sound. With calculated metal sound, some classic symphonic elements and very different vocals added instead.

I can recommend this album as one of the best progressive heavy album of the year 2009.

Report this review (#267396)
Posted Monday, February 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars To me, Idmen is possibly one the five best albums in the 2001-2010 decade. Hence five stars.

Now that this is out of the way, to the album itself: Idmen is the second studio album from Polish band Indukti and definitely their most original, thought-out and mastered yet. Whereas S.U.S.A.R still had that Riverside vibe to it (likely due in part to Mariusz Duda's presence on some pieces), Idmen kills the proverbial father and steps out in new territory.

And by "new territory", I mean that, to my knowledge, there is no other band that sounds quite like the mix of dark progressive rock, progressive metal, experimental tech-metal and post-rock.

Upon first listening to this album, the only thing you can expect is the unexpected: in one given piece, ambiances can evolve from one extreme to another, from an Eastern folk ambiance to massive metal riffs. Ewa Jablonska's violin act as a strong counterpoint to the heavy, dark music the rest of the band manages to pull off.

Original, often brutal, never boring, this is no prog for the faint of heart! It is a trip to the darkest recess of progressive music, to an underground place where different genres meet when their parents aren't looking. A dark, underrated jewel.

Report this review (#301104)
Posted Thursday, September 30, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars I've read some of others' reviews of this album from Indukti and apparently this is a "love or hate" piece of music. I tend more on the "love" side and, will say it straight away, I would give it with no doubt the 5 star "masterpiece of prog" if I were an expert of contemporary prog music.

In any case, I became aware of Indukti since I recognized Marius Duzsa's voice in one song, and being a great fun of Riverside, I thought it was a new song of theirs, instead, I discovered it was another band, in fact named "Indukti". Did some more search, found the Album, "S.U.S.A.R" bought it, and at that point I fell in love for Indukti too. But the real shock came once I listened to Idmen... I am not a metal fun, neither dark, let alone power or death metal, but do appreciate some of prog-metal bands' music, like Opeth, Baroness and few others. And, of course, I wouldnt label Tool music as "metal" either, it's a bit "prog-metal" to my ears, but more "Toolian". Turning back to Idmen, I was not looking for any metal-something, however once listening the cd I was struck with their power and executing skills of these guys, but what really caught me is their capabilities to mix together some kind of power metal with beautiful melodies, at times even romantic. I do really like coupling acoustic instruments as the violin, the guitar or the trumpet, together with a tremendous rhythmic section, particularly evident in track #5, "Indukted", to me the best of the album. Also, I like very much Sansara (#1), Tusan Homichi Tuvota (#2), and Ninth Wave (#8) with its beautiful trumpet, very moving emotionally, yet very rock (!) There is a clear inspiration from Tool: as many have noted the vocalist in track #7 clearly recalls Maynard J. Keenan of Tool, but the music still is "Indukti" Some tracks are a bit weak, like track # 6 "Aemaet", a bit too long and with no particular direction. But other songs I mentioned above largely compensate these few weaknesses. My bad I got this album in my hands only 2 weeks ago, while it was published in 2009.... well, better later than never! To conclude on this Indukti's cd, I'd say every progger should have it in his/her music library. A must of contemporary prog-metal.

Report this review (#963422)
Posted Tuesday, May 21, 2013 | Review Permalink

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