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CMX - Kolmikärki CD (album) cover

KOLMIKÄRKI

CMX

 

Progressive Metal

3.94 | 5 ratings

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Vompatti
4 stars Kolmikärki (the title translates to 'Trident') is the first and, one might argue, the most experimental CMX album - though perhaps not in the most obvious sense of the word. Basically it's a hardcore punk album, but it's the only hardcore punk album I know of whose lyrics deal mostly with mythological concepts and whose cover shows a shaman riding a snake.

The first track, "Johdatus salatieteisiin" ("Introduction to the Occult") opens with some aphoristic spoken-word lines alluding to alchemy and proceeds into shamanistic drumming and chanting accompanied by an ethereal flute melody smoothly leading to the clerical intonation in the intro of "Sika ja Perkele" ("The Pig and the Devil"), a brutally intense hardcore song with sinister biblical overtones and fragmentary lyrics apparently examining the contradiction of freedom and determinism. The tracks that follow vary from the vigorous but hardly straightforward hardcore of "Nahkaparturi" ("Skin Barber") to the deeply mournful and poignantly delicate lament of "Suuri äiti" ("The Great Mother"), and from the heavy metal pastiche of "Pyörivät sähkökoneet" ("Rotating Electric Machines") to the light waltz of "Pyydä mahdotonta" ("Ask for the Impossible"), a tongue-in-cheek piece of music whose upbeat accompaniment and almost banally simple structure would make it a perfect song for a wedding reception - if it weren't for the utterly bleak and visually quite disturbing lyrics.

Overall A. W. Yrjänä's cryptic lyrics are even more difficult to grasp here than on the latter CMX albums. The immense amount of various mythological and literary allusions goes hand in hand with the dense and uncompromising nature of the music. Yet I wouldn't say that Kolmikärki is a particularly difficult album to approach. Some of the riffs are incredibly catchy and the delightfully crooked songs are simply fun to listen to regardless of whether the lyrics mean anything to you or not. It might also be worth mentioning that of the full-length CMX albums this is the one where Pekka Kanniainen's harsh and austere drumming is at its most intense.

It's easy to hear though that the band that plays on Kolmikärki is a band still searching for their direction (as well as their first steady lineup). A. W. Yrjänä's few attempts to sing instead of shouting or grunting are not quite there yet, and most of the songs rely more on raw energy than on carefully woven atmosphere. But the vision is there, and the emotion is definitely there. Even though Kolmikärki is not really a prog album (far from it, actually), I can imagine it appealing to someone looking for a unique and fiercely captivating musical experience.

Vompatti | 4/5 |

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