Review 308 : Noumena – Anima – English

Finnish coldness is back to life thanks to Noumena.

Founded in 1998 by Hannu Savolainen (bass), Ilkka Unnbom (drums, Inferion), Ville Lamminaho (guitar/mandolin/choirs, Inferion, The Crescent), Tuukka Tuomela (guitar/choirs, Inferion) and Antti Haapanen (vocals), the band develops its universe with the arrival of Suvi Uura (vocals/piano) in 2009 and Markus Hirvonen (guitar/choirs, Cryonside) in 2018. Anima, the band’s sixth album, is out in 2020.

Between Melodic Death Metal and Doom Death, the band cheerfully picks into its finnish roots to embroider this ice-cold, melodic and impressive sound that begins with Kaiku, the soft and mystical introduction. But Saatto starts next, adding heaviness to the band’s universe and opening the gates of the haunting melancholy they develop. I am obviously not insensitive to this contrast between clean female vocals and cavernous growlings that literally transports us. Harmonics float in the air and the epic Murtuneet is the next one. The band keeps this cold and impressive sound that picks into Folk influences, piercing leads and a heavy rhythmic. Once again, the two voices perfectly melt together, offering a different but complementary ambience each time, just like on Seula, a short but catchy song. Unsurprisingly, lead parts make us travel in company of the band, then release us on the final part.
Ajaton is the next one, using anew this recipe made of coldness and melancholy that the finns perfectly master to make us board with them in this melodious storm. Violence and calmness respectfully live side by side, sometimes clash before Totuus. Fifteen minutes of fulfillment, melodic rage and intense softness for a soaring hurricane that perfectly unveils the band’s potential. The song takes maximum advantage of lead guitars, but can also let vocalists make our mind move farther and farther in their world until this mesmerizing outro. Anima, the eponymous song, is also the one that seems to be the most sad and the darkest one. Heaviness progressively stuns us, helped by this penetrating and painful lead part that allows the two voices to team up in their common goal. Joutsen is the last track. A worrying clean sound and Suvi’s voice charm us one last time, making the song’s intensity and beauty increase, then the sound fades away.

Noumena’s splendor awakes once again with Anima. Mild, heavy, melancholic and melodic, this full-length honors finnish Melodic Death Metal with some characteristic sounds from this country, and easily makes us embark on this fantastic journey.

85/100

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