Released: 2000, Independent
I really hate giving lower marks to young bands. It’s always a difficult thing to do, because you don’t want to shatter their confidence completely, but at the same time you’ve got to be honest in your review of their material. After all, that’s why we do these reviews in the first place isn’t it? Before is the new promo CD from young Scandinavian band Noumena, a band that quite obviously is into the whole melodic Swedish death metal phenomenon. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with that, indeed, I love most Swedish death metal, but Noumena is not quite ready to compete with the In Flames or The Crown’s of the world.
While only a 3-track promo CD, Noumena feels like it is about an hour long. I know that’s not necessarily a fair assessment of a band’s talent, but a 17-minute CD should not feel that long. I guess the main problem with Noumena is that they are not playing anything that hasn’t been done before. Like I said, I love the style of metal that they’re playing, but it’s just that there are other bands out there that have done this before, and done it better.
Noumena can do it all, the deathy vocals, the twin leads, the melodies, the female vocals, it is all there. It is quite well played, and has the perfect amount of aggression to compliment the melodies, but I can’t shake the feeling that the band is beating a dead horse. I dunno, it all melds together nicely, “Catharsis” opening the CD in a appropriately angry way, then “Heralds Of The Fall” adding more melodic overtones to the proceedings and finally ending with the slower, more melancholic “Overture To An End”. It’s all perfectly placed and I think that that is part of the problem. The CD feels a bit too studied…a bit too clinical. The pieces are in place and the band has talent, but the songwriting needs to grow a bit beyond its current boundaries.