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A Warm Glimpse
Released: 2003, Elitist Records
Farmakom are a new band from Finland who signed to Elitist Records in 2002. In the band’s bio I was surprised to learn that metal seems to be something new to some of the guys in this band. They say their “roots” (hardly roots if it’s so recent) go back to 2000 when some of the members heard (of all bands) Opeth. For some reason or another this made them wante to play similarly styled music with clean and growled vocals. At this time the singer was “…a funk singer not that much minding any extreme metal vocabulary...” (from band’s bio).
It is therefore not surprising that there is a big Opeth influence on this album, but there is also an influence from the Swedish death/thrash camp as well. To say Farmakon are a mix of The Haunted meets Opeth would hardly be the full picture. This would only give to an idea of the band’s metal influences. Throughout the album the listener is thrown many curves and odd turns thanks to influences from groove, funk, jazz, and just plain weirdness. For me this weirdness didn’t work in all songs because it is like they are trying too hard to be weird to the point that it becomes annoying.
When I was going through some of the CD’s I had to review I picked this on up and heard some of the first track “Loosely Of Amoebas” and pegged this as The Haunted/Carnal Forge rip-off #78. Since I like many of those Swedish thrashy bands I figured I’d put this one on to give it a better listen. When the time came to sit down and listen to the full album I realized was totally wrong in my assumption that this was yet another Swedish thrash band a la The Haunted. Shortly into the opening track you are hit with some WEIRD surprises, especially with the vocals. First it sounds like abrasive thrashing vocals like Carnal Forge, then it moves into clean vocals….then a very weird jazzed out part...then back to thrash...WEIRD! All this from just the opening song, and that song is one of the more straightforward tracks on here! It only gets weirder as you dig deeper. In the second track, “My Sanctuary In Solitude” we have more of the death-ish vocals beginning the song before clean vocals comes in. I thought many of the clean vocals were not the greatest and sounded quite alternative rock radio friendly. Unfortunately they are not clean as in clean “metal sounding” vocals. I liked the track “Stretching Into Me” with its interesting clean guitar intro. However, at about the 5min mark it gets very strange with some kinda Mexican hat dance shit?! Now if I thought that was weird, then up next it got even more bizarre on “Same” with strange vocal parts that I can't compare to anyone. They are weird like Mr. Bungle perhaps, but not quite the same. As mentioned earlier, the band claims a strong Opeth influence and I heard that on “Flowgrasp” with its aimlessly meandering Opeth-like clean guitar parts. The heights of weirdness however was “Flavoured Numerology” which is just flat out too fucked up for me with it’s vocal foolishness backed by random notes…not my kind of music at all on that one!
I have a hard time imagining that I will develop a taste for this album or band. Some will see their mixture of so many different styles as their strength, while I view much of it as “trying to hard” to be different and it makes the band sound like they lack direction (unless they want to argue that having no one direction IS their direction). Recommended for freaks who love Opeth, Carnal Forge, jazz, funk, etc.
1. Loosely Of Amoebas
2. My Sanctuary In Solitude
4. Stretching Into Me
7. Flavoured Numerology
8. Pearl Of My Suffering
Marko Eskola - Vocals and Bass
Toni Salminen – Guitars
Lassi Paunonen – Guitars
Riku Airisto - Drums
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