“Absence” is the debut album of this Finnish band, which plays a kind of IN FLAMES “Clayman” era melodic Death Metal. Mostly mid-paced, NOUMENA’s music will appeal to fans of the Gothenburg sound, that still need more bands of that kind in their CD collection. Still, the use of deep guttural Death vocals, instead of the usual high pitched screech is more than welcome.
As usual, with most of the products that come out of Spikefarm, the final production is top notch, thanks to the recording session done in the Sundi Coop Studies studio (FINNTROLL, AJATTARA, TRIO NISKALAUKAUS).
The main problem with NOUMENA’s music is the lack of originality. Many of the riffs seems borrowed from other renowned band of the style and the listener will often notice this fact, which could detract them slightly from the enjoyment of the album. Lack of originality shouldn’t be a reason though to dismiss this album, as Spikefarm still has its secret way to find high quality bands. While bands like IN FLAMES and SOILWORK slowly turns to the “mainstream” side, it is great to still be able to find some bands that still try to stay true to their roots.
Sadly, the vocals are often so low that they get buried in the mix. It would have been great to hear them more, with more heaviness and punch in it. The album also features some clean vocals and some female vocals, which bring nothing really new to the style, although they are done in a fine way.
A very well done album, that shows a bright future for this band that worked quite hard since 1998. Let’s just hope they will soon find an identity of their own. (Online August 12, 2005)