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Minutian biography
The band started from a 3 songs demo by drummer Atti RUOKOLA. The debut album "Repercussions" released in 2011 received positive reviews as the band played various gigs in Finland. But in 2012, the band lost guitarist Jaako JERNBERG in a accident which almost put a stop to the band. The band decided to continue and started writing new songs with some friends playing the guitar. Then after more live shows, and recordings, the band released in 2015, "Inwards", a more melodic album. The music is rock/metal with a experimental direction where the band slow things down to let the music breathe. We can hear influences from TOOL, OCEANSIZE and OPETH. The lineup is completed with Mikko HEINO (Vocals), Jouni MIKKOLA (Bass), Jesper JOHNSON and Pekka LOPONEN on guitar.

Bio by rdtprog

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 Inwards by MINUTIAN album cover Studio Album, 2015
4.00 | 3 ratings

Minutian Progressive Metal

Review by Necrotica
Prog Reviewer

4 stars One thing that quite a few modern progressive acts seem to miss - and something that classic bands such as King Crimson and Genesis pulled off with ease - is that instrumental prowess tends to be best presented as merely a side dish and not the main course of an album. While technicality and complexity are usually crucial ingredients in progressive rock as a whole, emotion and drama are just as important. Remember how that layered Mellotron orchestration in King Crimson's "Epitaph" created intense feelings of dread and fear? Or how Pink Floyd's soundscapes convey an incredibly spacious atmosphere that makes you feel like you've entered a different world? That's the kind of work that really connects with a listener, instead of just sounding impressive on a surface level. Well, it seems that there's a Finnish progressive rock band who captures the balance between technicality and emotion as if it is second nature, and they are known as Minutian.

Then again, Minutian have every right to come at their newest album Inwards from an emotional angle. The band lost one of their founding members, guitarist Jaakko Jernberg, in 2012; this caused the band to contemplate whether they should continue playing and recording. Well, the fact that they ended up continuing is just wonderful; Inwards is not only a superbly-crafted album, but it's absolutely beautiful as well. While the album is a mixture of progressive rock and progressive metal, even the metal portions come with incredibly dark and melancholic elements. "Manifest" and the opening track "Hollow Heroics" bring out much of the album's heaviest material, while many of the others display a more serene vibe; of course there are also many neat moments with unconventional time signatures, such as the calm 5/4-time acoustic introduction of "Burning Bright" and the many technical rhythm shifts of "Manifest." The members' abilities are superb, and none of the key and time changes feel forced or without reason. But when you get down to it, the best thing about Inwards is the use and timing of its dynamics. "Aphelion" is the greatest example on the record, weaving through multiple build-ups and subtle instrumental cues throughout its 10-minute run time before reaching an explosive climax as it nears its end. "Hollow Heroics" is also notable for its dynamic shifts, giving a reasonable amount of attention to both the distorted metal portions and the acoustic elements that also serve to kick off the song. In any case, these moments really help in varying each song's mood and overall vibe; some songs even display more uplifting melodies in contrast to all the melancholy, such as some of the acoustic moments of "On Derelict Sidings."

If there's any weakness on Inwards, it's that some of the songs tend to drag on for a little too long. For instance, the main motif of the aforementioned "Derelict Sidings" gets a little bit old after a while. It sounds neat when the acoustic guitar is blending with the piano, but the overall song could have been cut down by about two minutes. It would have been nice to hear some leaner tunes like "Manifest," songs that rely a bit more on the heaviness to contrast the more ornately arranged songs. But these are just nitpicks in the long run. If anything, Inwards is proof that not only is progressive rock alive and well, but also has plenty of room for expansion. Minutian said that some of their biggest inspirations were King Crimson, Tool, and Fates Warning; however, modern progressive rock acts should now be taking notes from this band as well. They took their classic inspirations and reconstructed them in a daring and meaningful way, incorporating a beautiful sense of atmosphere and skillfully-implemented dynamics into their complex rock/metal. Wherever Minutian go from here, I can honestly say this could end up being one of the finest progressive rock albums of the entire year.

(Originally written in 2015 on Sea of Tranquility)

Thanks to rdtprog for the artist addition.

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