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Konom - Konom CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.01 | 57 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars Progressive metal is not a style of music that i look forward to discovering new artists much any longer considering it seems like an endless procession of copycat bands that rarely match expectations but of course there are always exceptions so once in a while i'll check out a new artist just to see if the genre has found some new life and every once in a while i'm surprised that i really do enjoy some of the newer bands cranking out the somewhat familiar sounds laid down a while back.

KONOM is a new band founded in 2019 in Manchester, England by Arya Bobaie (vocals), Tom Rice (drums), Dan White (guitar, backing vocals), Benjamin Edwards (bass and Jonathan Worsley (keyboards) and is the result of Dan White and Tom Rice continuing together after the disbanding of the band Ascent which lasted from 2011-19. My first reaction to the band's eponymously titled debut is "LEPROUS IS BACK!" Yep, of all the bands that instantly come to mind are the Leprous albums that still had metal and this is mostly due to the extraordinary vocal control of Arya Bobale.

To be fair though, KONOM isn't a Leprous clone at all even if performing progressive metal in the same ballpark. With an emotive mix of progressive rock and more feisty metal, KONOM has crafted a very impactful debut with eight tracks that are just shy of t he 52 minute mark. This is the type of progressive metal that gets your attention right away with strong impactful melodic hooks, excellent musicianship that serves to function as a whole unit and eschews excess soloing and lots of atmospheric soaked synth parts that add all those other dimensions. While considered metal, much of the album isn't metal at all but rather atmospheric buildups, more subdued progressive rock or metal lite but the band does know how to unleash its fury when contrast is needed.

While Bobaie's vocals are the clear standout here, so too are the excellent guitar riffs that provide the backbone to the rhythmic drive with the bass and drums actually being a bit less dynamic. Of course prog metal means nothing without strong compositions and KONOM excels in keeping you engaged. With eight tracks on board, five are solely dedicated to "The Great Harvest" suite which features five distinct parts and let's the band show off its many influences which are actually quite broad ranging from Porcupine Tree to Haken and Tool to Dream Theater and a whole bunch of prog metal bands which is probably why KONOM works so well for me. In other words the influences are shuffled around enough and thoroughly integrated to actually make this sound unique if not revolutionary.

While the entire album is strong including the longer tracks such as the opening "A Welcome Change" which sprawls over the 10 1/2 minute mark, the highlight is clearly the multi-faceted "The Great Havest" which is a 20 minute plus showcase of styles and moods all wrapped in a progressive metal veneer. Like any really good prog metal, KONOM tackles many disparate moods and motifs but keeps them reeled into an overarching stylistic approach. Overall KONOM has unleashed a very enjoyable and competent debut release and is certainly one to look out for in the future. While i wouldn't call this band the next Dream Theater or breaking any new ground in the least, i will say that KONOM has mastered the art of technical prog metal without sacrificing the emotional connections that a great band is supposed to bring to the table primarily due to Bobale's excellent vocal command.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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