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Nurkostam - XIII CD (album) cover





2.89 | 16 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Nurkostam are a band from Finland who have been doing the rounds with us reviewers on the site, obviously looking for the publicity that a plethora of reviews can bring. Well, good luck to them, I say. This is the first of three offerings, and I will review all three in order.

Unlike other reviewers, I can actually see why they were placed within the neo-prog sub- genre on the site, because this album especially does seem to be very much influenced by some of the giants of the genre very heavily. It's just that it is such an eclectic mix of influences, that it is extremely difficult to categorise.

Not the opener, I Scream, which cries (or screams!) King Crimson from the open to the conclusion. The trouble with this approach is that Crimson in 1969 to 1972 produced a sound that was so utterly unique and mindblowing, because it had never been done before, that that uniqueness should not really be attempted again in 2005. It doesn't work.

It is also a very atypical track for what follows, much of which falls into the more mellow and spacey side of prog. As with any debut album, as much as anything else we are looking for promise, whether the band or artist in question has the potential and capacity to grow into something special, and I think on the evidence of this the answer is a clear yes, with some reservations.

Dome is a very mellow and nice track, featuring a classy guitar break towards the conclusion. Far more traditional rock than the opener, I like this track.

Alone can only be described as a deliberate attempt to emulate the type of sound Radiohead were producing at the OK Computer stage of their career. There are also traits of early Floyd (well, Radiohead were rightly compared to that great band at the time), and by and large it works quite well.

Between, I'm afraid, does not. The vocals, and mellotron for that matter, are a naked early Gabriel and Genesis clone, somewhere between Revelation and Trespass, with weedy production to boot, and it really just ends up as a bit of a dirge.

Madness takes its cue from a keyboard driven riff, a la Emerson, and is alright for what it is, with a particularly menacing bass riff which, I think, more than adequately conveys the title of the song. If anything, it is a little bit too short

The EP closes with Archie, the longest track here at 7:44. It features some Floydian sound effects in the ticking clock, and is most definitely not the sort of track that you would play to a potential mating partner as an introduction to your music. It has melancholy written all over it, and some of the vocals actually go further into the realms of manic depressive leanings. I do, though, like the simple, but effective, guitar backing, and the bass playing, again, is deeply threatening.

As with many such albums that we review here, this work does suffer from relatively poor production, and, at times, some of the influences are very naively put over, but this is a very credible debut, overall, from a band who clearly take themselves, and their music, very seriously.

Three stars. This is a good start. My thanks to the band for making it available to me to review.

lazland | 3/5 |


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