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Simulacrum - The Master and The Simulacrum

The Master and The Simulacrum
by YngwieViking at 25 June 2012, 3:47 PM

I’m pretty late for this one, as it was originally released in late December of 2011. These guys from Finland are astonishing. Still quite young but highly experienced, at least in their playing skills, as their performances in the entire album are flawless. It's also obvious that they arrived to a matured fullness in their songwriting ideas. It is like NEVERMORE meet LIQUID TENSION EXPERIMENT meet SHADOW GALLERY in a slight Finnish Power Metal gleaming packing. That’s my early outline and maybe the best description for this subtle amalgam juggling trick.

The vibes within the lyrics are utterly dark & pessimistic and even though their Progressive Metal is carrying some well known / already heard elements, it still sounds original. The mix between the weird instrumental parts, almost Jazz Rock, the very unfamiliar depressives melodies, sharp & heavy riffing with double kick garnish and finally, the rare but refreshing prominent melodic theme, are perfectly balanced and seasoned. So this could be the perfect meal for Progressive Metal fans. Yes, it could have been if only the lead vocals were stronger.

Let me explain: Sometimes the inconsistent vocals by Niklas Broman seems a little fragile and unsecure, however there are opposite occasions where something really impressive happens in the vocal section but then it goes downhill once again. Maybe it’s the gap or the delay between the record sessions which were stretched through 5 years? Broman’s accent is a little too discernible as in the track "Autumn Rain", this guy is undeniably good, but also the weakest component of this talented young bunch. Despite the criticism, songs like "The Depraved", "Hammerhead", "The Begining Of Nothing" and the title-track are catchy, brainy and clever swarming with heady licks teeming with many titillating details. Their musical peak was reached in the instrumental "Flagiston" where Jazz / Fusion influenced a Shred Metal climax is fully displayed in a rumpled formula à la L.T.E. / CAB.

Unsurprisingly the last track, "Genesis part 1. The Celestial Architect", is the longest & the most experimetal but also it's a fine piece of art along with some fascinating counterpoint structures. Also there is a very distinguished Marimba solo Cameo, just before a more orthodox lead guitar section. With intriguing themes, dissonant harmonies, complex composed-measures and torturous synchronized rythm patterns, this platter is more than interesting, it is captivating.

4 Star Rating

1. Master And The Simulacrum
2. The Depraved
3. Battle Within
4. Hammerhead
5. Flagiston
6. Autumn Rain
7. The Beginning Of Nothing
8. Genesis Part 1: The Celestial Architect
icholas Pulkkinen– Lead Guitar
Chrism- Keyboards
Niklas Broman- Lead Vocals
Markus Wallasvaara -Drums
Olli Hakala- Bass  
Record Label: Inverse Records


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Edited 24 October 2021

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