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Ribozyme – Argute

by Anton Sanatov at 29 March 2019, 9:00 PM

Some art is hard to understand… When the abstract becomes the definition of locomotion, it is often inevitable for the observer to get lost in the complexity of rigid creativity. But that is modern expression, and that is what drives the inspirations of this world.

Intricacy can be endearing, but it can also be confusing and overwhelming. A foray into Progressive music is often an intimidating experience, and yet once you become acquainted with that side of the sonic spectrum, your mind opens up to an amalgamation of new musical pleasures that you have never seen before.

A lot of progressive artists tend to speak their own language, and that is why their offerings may be a touch hard to comprehend – for let’s face it, accessibility is the prerogative of the mainstream. RIBOZYME are not the most avant-garde of bands, but they certainly have a rather peculiar style of their own, and on their 7th full-length record “Argute”, the Norwegian Prog Rockers show no sign of making it any less intriguing.

You know that feeling when you’re staring at a piece of modern art and feel your brain contort in throes of confusion? Well, at first “Argute” may have that exact effect on a given listener. There are a lot of breaks and bends, some spheres of peculiar dimensions, and plenty of technical consolidation; think of it as a Kandinsky painting come to life.

Opening with “Sonic Wealth” the band set the palpitations at high with a leaking grooves and bouncy melodies in the vein of STONE TEMPLE PILOTS on acid or JANE ADDICTION on…well, just JANE’S ADDICTION; but with a touch more discipline. Such wild antics come and go throughout the album as RIBOZYME gnaw at the canvas with funky precision and a post-punk attitude with “Out of Orbit” and “Plasma”, both of which sound like they were written by New Wave disciples after an electrifying Hard Rock infusion.

The band’s method of madness is very much rooted in sticking shiny shards of sharp, leaping choruses amidst thick slabs of bass-laden groove. Tracks like “Haunted A Minute Ago” and “Allegiance to the Damned” see the band explore those cut-throat dynamics by threading almost jazz-like fabric throughout the verses before exploding into powerful hooks.

Things also get heavy on this record. “Pleasures of Drowning” and “Coerced” (probably my favourite tracks on the record) channel a nasty, grungy gut-punch of bands like SOUNDGARDEN and add a solid share of darkness to this otherwise colourful menagerie; making this for an even more diverse and off-beat enterprise.

The production on “Argute” is huge. Yes, it may be a touch over-compressed, but it only serves to contain the vast splurge of melodic confetti that being dispersed by this talented band. Of course, with so much going on in this record it is easy to get lost between the zig-zag lines – and one may often do so. For whilst this is an entertaining offering, “Argute” does seem to lack focus; and often even looses sight of itself amidst all of the musical commotion – if only for a moment.

Overall – “Argute” is a gallery of sound. RIBOZYME’s 7th LP is a fun, provoking, and mind boggling piece of modern art that twists the colours on the palette into a beautiful scenery of energetic perplexity. This is, ladies and gentlemen, an exhibition of astute musicianship at its finest.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

  1. Sonic Wealth
  2. Haunted a Minute Ago
  3. Argute
  4. Pleasure of Drowning
  5. Tied to the Grid
  6. Coerced
  7. Out of Orbit
  8. Allegiance to the Damned
  9. Plasma
Kjartan Ericsson – Vocals, Guitar, Percussion
Bård Bøge – Vocals, Bass, Keyboards
Cato Olaisen – Drums
Record Label: Indie Recordings


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