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Psychema - Dust Of Bygones Award winner

Dust Of Bygones
by Daniel Fox at 28 October 2013, 10:17 PM

The beauty of Progressive Metal and Rock music is the degree of freedom in which a band my experiment; no one song or band is the same. Of course, some choose to just stick to jazzy chord progressions, out-of-whack time signatures and extraordinarily long songs, but some just wish to take a creative leap. Finland's PSYCHEMA procure this musical sweet spot on their upcoming EP, "Dust Of Bygones". Within this expertly crafted Prog tidbit I hear massive musical potential, drawn from a number of readily audible influences; OPETH, AMORPHIS and BORKNAGAR to name a few. Tomi Kallava's diverse vocal range allows him to evoke diverse moods using a great of number of vocal style, from tender croons, to soaring melodies, from raucous yells to powerful screams. The musical backbone behind this figurehead consists of ingenious knowledge of instrumentation, and interplays between the full musical ranges of each instrument in the band.

"Dust of Bygones" is a perfect example of this, featuring OPETH-inspired verses and interludes that leaves one unprepared for the heavy and powerful, AMORPHIS-like chorus. Kallava and Kimmo Pitkänen do not over-do the guitar leads, but are nonetheless technical and tasteful, and aid in invoking powerful emotions with soaring, yet meaningfully overdriven melodies. Its radio-edit is, predictably, a more accessible arrangement, but is most able to draw in unwitting fans new to this brand of progressive… Doom?

"Unawakening" features a much more extreme Metal approach, and plenty of riffs stylized on that of old BORKNAGAR, and a drum track that sometimes finds me bedazzled; am I hearing a polyrhythm, or two? Or ten? This track features much more growling from Kallava, and I'm certain this track will carry with it an immense live energy will played in concert, when paired with the previous tracks that are mellow in comparison. By the end I'm literally sucked in by a wormhole of riffage that spirals inwards into a mechanical-sounding outro.

The radio edit of "Solace In Void" must be my favorite track on this release; the best I can do is liken it to a DREAM THEATRE that replaced James LaBrie with Kallava. Musically, it's fatter and has more going on, even though it lacks the range of dynamics found in the previous tracks. It makes up for this with the enchanting lead melodies, and riffs and runs created with Mathematical intelligence.

Scandinavia is a powerhouse for excellent progressive music, and Finland most definitely puts out Prog with a totally different flavor; Sweden, Norway and Denmark have another thing coming when PSYCHEMA's next full release comes out, something I am most anticipating.

4 Star Rating

1. Dust of Bygones
2. Unawakening
3. Dust of Bygones (radio edit)
4. Solace in Void (radio edit)
Tomi Kallava – Vocals, Guitars
Timo Larjo – Drums
Petja Rinne – Bass
Kimmo Pitkänen – Guitars
Vesa Koivunen- Keyboards
Record Label: Inverse Records


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Edited 05 June 2023

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