Now here´s something that´ll make Batman jealous! Yes, it´s true, the wonder boy himself has earned his way into FARMAKON´s second output as the sole word in the album title. I´m not sure if the band is referring to the famous comic character or not, but one thing´s certain, there´s a whole lot of weird qualities flying around within these sixty minutes of Progressive Death Metal.
I´m betting all my money that I´m not the first reviewer to notice there´s a major OPETH influence among the band members. There are a couple of tracks that sound pretty impressive, be it the “Blackwater Deliverance” tweakings of “Time-Tables” and “Coma September”, or the momentary “My Arms, Your Hears” feverism that roams about in some of the songs.
So yeah, they like OPETH, a lot, but they´re also way more extreme and bizarre. The band´s tamperings with Fusion and Jazz, makes their songs a bit jumpy at times, which is enough to make them sound just a little different, maybe even unique. A good example of the band´s somewhat insane songwriting is found in the song “Recondite”; you´ve got Jazz rhythms, false trumpets, and plenty of sick, otherworldly screams all boiled into one impish sounding passage, just downright nasty people!
Some of the songs (maybe too many of them) feel like they were written with a sense of haste, especially the second half of the album sounds awfully scattered, just blunt tradings between the trademarked finnish flavoured OPETH-esque passages and the more weird Funk/Jazz sections. Vocals are surprisingly good, both extreme and clean, and there´s a good balance between the two styles.
There´s the inevitable question on whether their sound is unique or not, but I daresay FARMAKON have some good ideas, and while I haven´t heard their previous album, I´m still under the impression that there´s a lot of rushed songwriting on “Robin”.
(Online May 23, 2008)