There is a challenge with truly progressive metal and rock and that challenge is, of course, how one describes it in novel terms without sounding like some kind of pretentious ass.Â Â The other major problem as a reviewer is that one has to rely on sort of contrived comparisons, so when a band sort of not comparable to other bands it makes things difficult.Â Not just a little difficult, but a lot difficult, because as I sit here I am literally trying to figure out how to describe this record in a way that will sit well, make sense and give an imagine of how excellent this album is.
I guess that’s where I’ll start: this album is, for the most part, excellent.Â It is a smoothly progressive blend of varying styles and influences, which are deftly melded into a cohesive whole.Â That, of course, brings us to those contrived comparisons to try to get the sound across: basically, if you were to mix Tool with Skyclad (sans the thrash metal, mainly just the violin), Enslaved and Meshuggah, you might have something that sounds like Indukti.Â However, unlike a band like Tool or Skyclad there is no pop-song formula involved in the writing of music, hereâ€”instead the band relies heavily on improvisation in the writing process, which leads to flowing, linear songs that don’t really repeat parts so much as work in movements (which is becoming more common with modern progressive bands in general). The songs go between tribal soundscapes with folk and classical instrumentation and heavy as a ton of bricks chuggy parts, even with a couple of sickly sweet chorus hooks on “…and Who’s God Now?!” which is easily the album’s best track, with it’s powerful vocal performance and excellent writing.
The style that I have described, however, comes with some weaknesses which the band has sort of fallen into in a couple of places.Â The first of these weaknesses is that this writing style can get lost in itself and in a couple of places, most notably the song “Aemaet,” the band really just gets lost in what feels a little bit like running scales.Â These places lack the great groove and seductive, hypnotizing melody of the best parts of Idmen.Â The second weakness was almost completely avoided by the addition of vocals on three of these tracksâ€”but without these, I get the feeling that a lot of this stuff would start to blend together, and while it would create an interesting soundscape, there would be fewer memorable moments.
However, the weaknesses on this album were entirely mitigated by the awesomeness that also ensued and I have to say that I am very convinced that this album will end up on my “best albums of 2009” list.Â The dynamism and musical skill shown by this band means, hopefully, that they will get more publicity in the next year or so. They definitely deserve it.
So, another Polish progressive metal band, another excellent record.Â There must be something in the water. Let me forewarn youâ€”if you’re not really into progressive music, that is, sort of lacking style obsessions or ideas about how a record should sound or how songs should be put together, Idmen may not be the record for you.Â While I am blown away by Indukti‘s musicianship and songwriting, this record is almost entirely without vocals and what vocals are on this album are often weird, winding and not entirely a standard sound.Â They range between very Maynard James Keenan-sounding vocals on “Nemesis Voices” to thrash and death vocals on “…and Who’s God Now?!”Â This isn’t a weakness for me, obviously, as I think the record is amazingâ€”but a lot of people might get lost in the wandering intricacies that make up Indukti‘s newest opus.Â If this sounds at all appealing to you: buy this record.Â This band deserves all the support they can get.