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Rating:
7.5
Noumena - Absence
13 April 2005


01. The End Of The Century
02. Everlasting Ward
03. The First Drop
04. Slain Memories
05. A Day To Depart
06. Prey Of The Tempter
07. Here We Lie
08. All Veiled
09. The Dream And The Escape
10. The Great Anonymous Doom


The game is over, Gothenburg…

While the whole Melodic/Gothenburg Death Metal craze seems to be wearing off, there are some bands attempting to achieve success playing such genre. I won't deny it, is great genre with many good assets, and many hindrances also, like the repetitiveness, lack of innovation, false creativity and many more, and what else you could expect from a genre that spawns hundreds of bands each year?

Nowadays I don't think there's a band that's going to reinvent Melodeath. It's a genre that reached its peak with some influential and landmark albums that I won't be mentioning here to avoid debates. Nowadays we have the leftovers of a genre that already gave the best of itself, one of the results of the cathartic act is Noumena.

Firmly rooted on the Melodic Death scene Noumena tries to make it with its sophomore work so far, entitled "Absence". You know the formula, melodic leads, fast paced songs, growls, the occasional male clean vocals and the stellar apparition of the female vocals, at this point, nothing surprises me.

The album starts with "The End Of The Century" a song that has excellent guitar work, and nice melodies, but doesn't stick in your mind. "Everlasting Ward" takes a different route for once and explores more "Folky" passages, nice song! Reminded me of Amorphis -Elegy era- at times. "Slain Memories" features a duet between female vocals and growls, not a novelty no more, but is nice to hear it once in a while. In "Prey Of The Tempter" we witness another battle of vocals, between growls and clean male vocals this time.

Production is top-notch as I might expected from any product coming from Spinefarm/Spikefarm Records, although I found the vocals too buried in the mix, maybe a little more of presence could do wonders for the band.

In a nutshell, this is truly a worthy effort from a band that doesn't try to reinvent Melodic Death Metal, they just want to do it right. And they achieve success in such endeavour, sadly, they don't score that much in originality.


Band profile: Noumena
Album: Absence


 


written by Undercraft | 13.09.2005



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Daydream Nation - 22.02.2011 at 21:09  
Excellent album. I think you're spot on with the "originality" and the "vocals being drowned in." I understand this review was from 2005 but I just wanted to say it was a nice review.
One of the best albums to jump into Noumena with. For my purposes, they are a traditional melodeath band that does the whole act completely right. Vocals= awesome, the songwriting= nice and poetic, and the melodies are so polished and beautiful. Well done, Noumena.
.:Nataras:. - 16.03.2011 at 10:15  
Very Very Good!! Superb album!!!

Game is began!!!! Game is began for Gotenburg Bands such Insomnium and Be'lakor and Noumena!!!

this is True Gotenburg sound!!!
maybe you call Arch Enemy or other bands as Gotenburg sound! but i think they are Melodeath but not that really Gotenburg!!
maybe old In Flames, Dark Tranquillity and ... have a little Gotenburg sound mixed with their Melodeath...but! Insomnium and Be'lakor and Noumena (specially this album of Noumena) are true Gotenburg sound!!! they are awesome!!!

you can search at MS for Gotenburg bands, but who have really true Gotenburg sound on her album!?
Troy Killjoy - 16.03.2011 at 16:34  
Written by .:Nataras:. on 16.03.2011 at 10:15

this is True Gotenburg sound!!!
maybe you call Arch Enemy or other bands as Gotenburg sound! but i think they are Melodeath but not that really Gotenburg!!
maybe old In Flames, Dark Tranquillity and ... have a little Gotenburg sound mixed with their Melodeath...but! Insomnium and Be'lakor and Noumena (specially this album of Noumena) are true Gotenburg sound!!! they are awesome!!!

you can search at MS for Gotenburg bands, but who have really true Gotenburg sound on her album!?

I don't see how Gothenburg is considered a genre, being that it's merely a city. It only serves as a pointless adjective, like Norwegian black, Floridian death, or Bay Area thrash.

As for Insomnium and Be'lakor...they're far from what is typically described as the "Gothenburg sound". That moniker is usually left for early DT, In Flames, etc. - as in, "Iron Maiden melodies sped up with harsh vocals".

Insomnium, Be'lakor, Noumena, etc. all cater to the "Finnish sound", if there's such a thing, regarding melodic death. At the end of the day it's all melodic death metal from specific regions that sound similar within each region as many band members take influence from others in the area, or even play in multiple bands. Then that sound gets out and other bands from other countries take note and start playing it, hence defeating the purpose of using a location as an adjective when referring to genres. Prime example, Be'lakor sound a lot like Insomnium. But one of these bands are not Finnish.
Milena - 23.10.2011 at 13:25  
This is awesome, actually.
Troy Killjoy - 23.10.2011 at 21:34  
Written by Milena on 23.10.2011 at 13:25
This is awesome, actually.

Agreed. I reviewed the follow-up to this a while back...was not impressed. But Absence is a solid slab of melo-death.
!J.O.O.E.! - 23.10.2011 at 22:07  
The shamelessly melodic hooks and harmonies are quite nice. If I'd known about this album when it had just been released I'd have been all over it like a rash on a prostitute.
Milena - 24.10.2011 at 10:47  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 23.10.2011 at 21:34

Agreed. I reviewed the follow-up to this a while back...was not impressed. But Absence is a solid slab of melo-death.

It's not as bad as you review said, but really, why waste time on that when we've got this?
Troy Killjoy - 25.10.2011 at 00:20  
Written by Milena on 24.10.2011 at 10:47
why waste time on that when we've got this?

Exactly. That's the tl;dr version of my review anyway.
Milena - 25.10.2011 at 00:47  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 23.10.2011 at 22:07

The shamelessly melodic hooks and harmonies are quite nice. If I'd known about this album when it had just been released I'd have been all over it like a rash on a prostitute.

I can't get enough of the clean vocals either, but since The Man-Eating Tree kinda bores me I'll have to try Fall Of The Leafe...

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