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3 stars NAUTICUS comes from Turku, Finland. Also their debut A Wave to Carry Us Over (2009) is sadly without any reviews or even ratings. I hope those who appreciate this genre - and Metal in general - more than me will find this strong band. I'll come to the negative aspects of my own reception later, first I do my my best to give an objective picture, with my limited understanding of all Metal music. Music is mostly written by drummer Tuomas Rajala and all lyrcis are by vocalist Jani Rämö. In the recording, mixing and production the group was helped by Antti Loponen, the visionaire behind one- man Alternative Metal band Consciuousness Removal Project.

The nearly an hour-long album is an ambitious conceptual work that was done "furiously within a period of two and a half years. An apocalypctical lyrical theme flows through an experimental, psychedelical and visionary landscape of rock, metal and alternative." I sense the full devotion and I believe some might even consider this a masterpiece of the subgenre. The tension is very strong, the mood is dark and dystopic but not totally devastating. In the sound especially the powerful, complex drumming and the angst-fuelled vocals steal the attention. The main group doesn't feature keyboard player but there are some keys involved. The two guitarists are not trying to act like attention-starving guitar heroes, instead they always serve the whole. I appreciate the absence of more typical Metal elements of high speed and technically oriented "X notes per second" approach, and the existence of even delicate nuances in the playing. But to me personally this album is too depressing, and the unmelodic compositions feel flat and samey even if they aren't necessarily that.

Thankfully there are two instrumentals, the short 'Their Whereabouts' which is rather calm soundscape experiment, and the 11-minute closer 'Kalmisto' (an old-fashioned word for graveyard) which for me is the clear highlight with the dominance of piano and acoustic guitar. A beautiful track in its melancholia.

At first I was feeling almost angry by this music, mostly because of the angst growl in the vocals. That's one thing I simply can't stand in Metal music. But now I'm anyway glad I managed to write a decent review outside my comfort zone. After all, this is worth recommendations.

Report this review (#1243485)
Posted Monday, August 11, 2014 | Review Permalink
The Crow
3 stars Second album of this personal and special Finnish prog-metal band!

And just like A Wave to Carry of Out, the equally self-produced The Wait is another travel into a very oppressive and dark prog-metal world, full of influences of post-metal and alternative bands like Tool and other experimental acts like Neurosis or Voivod.

Luckily, with The Wait Tuomas Rajala and his colleagues achieved a much more compelling and diverse song writing, with some glimpses of more positive melodies (the initial piano of Ascend, the beautiful guitars of the beginning of A Delayed End), post-rock (Kalmisto) and even classic heavy metal (some riffs of As Barriers Falls), which along with the original drumming of Rajala and some very Nauticus-sounding guitars and piercing bass lines, make this album more than a Tool-wannabe.

Sadly, some repetitiveness in a pair of tracks, the weak and ugly vocals of Jani Ramo and other forgettable moments like Their Whereabouts prevents this album to reach a higher rating.

Best Tracks: Constructing the Liquid Plains (an oppressive crescendo in the vein of Tool), A Delayed End (I specially like the initial guitar melody) and Kalmisto (a fine post-rock tracks which reminds me to the British band Blueneck)

Conclusion: The Wait is a much better produced and written album than the Nauticus previous effort A Wave to Carry Us Out. And it's also more diverse, melodic and catchy, resulting in an estimable album very appropriated for people who like the most alternative and avant-garde branch of prog-metal.

My rating: ***

Report this review (#2110849)
Posted Monday, December 24, 2018 | Review Permalink

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