Noumena is the little Finnish melo-death band that never says die. After cranking out three quality albums in relatively quick succession from 2002 to 2006 (including the awesome Anatomy of Life), they went into cryo-limbo for six years, finally emerging with 2013s Death Walks With Me. The long layoff didn’t derail their charming approach to melancholic death metal, and I welcomed them back with open arms and hearse while hoping for another extended bout of regular releases. Well, I had to wait some 3 years and change to get the next installment, but they’re finally back with Myrrys for what the band calls “A celebration of 90s melodic death and melancholic Finnish mollie tunes.” The word “myrrys” means ruckus or uproar in Finnish, which may be a tad misleading considering their style of somber sadboy death with discreet folk elements and a plethora of female vocals balancing out the death croakery. Myrrys is the first Noumena platter sung entirely in Finnish, which the band did to celebrate their cultural heritage. They also celebrate the national treasure of Sweden by getting Lord Dan Swanö to handle the production, so hail Scandinavian solidarity!

After a soothing intro of ethereal female vocals and soft piano, we dive right into the meat of the melo-death with the excellent “Metsan Viha,” which sounds like Ominium Gatherum writing songs for inclusion on Whoracle. It’s an immediate success with joyous, triumphant riffs counterpointing guttural death croaks as a whiff of Finnish melancholy hangs in the air. This is exactly the kind of material I want from Noumena and it’s great to hear they still have it in their DNA. “Kirouksen Kantaja” is a slow, doomy piece with depressive leads and the haunting vocals of Suvi Uura joining the fray at key moments of despair. It reminds me of something Tuomas Saukkonen would have written for Black Sun Aeon and it works extremely well.

Another high point is “Sanat Pimeydesta” which is like a crazy fusion of In Flames, Insomnium and Korpiklaani. It’s rowdy, energetic and tons of fun with excellent riff-work and a fist pumping attitude. The nearly 10 minute “Sanansaattaja” is melodic, downbeat doom and quite beautiful with hints of Be’Lakor and Insomnium, but it’s a few minutes overlong despite the sweetly forlorn leads and the captivating vocals of Ms. Uura.

Other songs are decent enough, like the power metal-infused lunacy of “Roihu,” and the anthemic, Korpiklaani rowdiness of “Pedon Veri,” but neither will blow anyone away. The 10-minute closer “Syvalla Vedessa” is lush and sad, with haunting vocals from Ms. Uura and plenty of downcast riffing, but again it’s too long with too few ideas.

Myrrys feels somewhat disjointed at times. They absolutely nail the classic melo-death sound on some cuts but the more folksy, speedy songs can feel awkward and a bit out-of-place. Though they can write excellent doom segments, the two lengthy slow-burners are too long without enough going on to justify their extended run-times. It also feels like they overuse Ms. Uura’s talents this time around, forcing her into songs just to give her something to do (“Sanat Pimeydesta”).

I can’t say anything against the production though, as Mr. Swanö makes everything sound lush and vibrant. It’s never overloud and the softer moments contrast well with the heavier sections. The guitars have appropriate crunch and power and I love the drum sound.

The guitar-work from Ville Lamminaho and Tuukka Tuomela is often excellent, stealing the best parts of the early In Flames sound without abandoning the classic Finnish melo-death style. They craft some great doomy leads and bittersweet harmonies and know how to saturate things with melancholy. Antti Haapanen is a blast as a vocalist, with a big, bunker-busting death roar, and at times he reminds me of a rougher Jukka Pelkonen (Omnium Gatherum).

Ultimately Myrrys is a good album that feels like it could have been better. When it’s good it’s great and when it’s just good, it’s… good. I’m still waiting for the next Anatomy of Life, but this isn’t a bad placeholder and a few of these tunes will be in heavy rotation for the foreseeable future. If you like your melo-death glum and unhappy, Noumea has your number. I just hope they don’t make us wait another 3-4 years for a followup. I don’t know if I could bear it.


Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 9 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Haunted Zoo Productions
Websites: noumena.infonoumena.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/noumenaband
Releases Worldwide: April 28th, 2017

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  • Cameron Forester

    Nice. Is the new Ayreon album going to get a review?

  • Cameron Forester

    Nice. Is the new Ayreon album going to get a review here?

    • We hope so.

    • So…can any Ayreon fans suggest to me where I could start exploring their music? The discography is kinda overwhelming…

      • A Feed From Cloud Mountain

        Longish post incoming.

        A lot of people recommend The Human Equation as one of the better Ayreon records, but I personally enjoy most of the songs on 01011001 the most, but not as a whole record. 01 has some really bangin’ songs (Age of Shadows, Beneath The Waves, and I LOVE the seven string guitar action on Fifth Extinction) but also some really weak ones, like Web Of Lies.

        Most of Ayreon’s albums have an overarching theme regarding an alien civilization that dooms itself repeatedly by destroying the planets they’re on, so realistically to get the whole picture you could start with The Final Experiment right on through, not including Theory of Everything, which isn’t linked to the alien theme, but is still worth a listen, or Actual Fantasy which also isn’t connected.

        For the older stuff, I’d recommend the Universal Migrator duo, especially the first record, Dream Sequencer. My House On Mars is still one of my favorite Ayreon songs.

        Needless to say I’m foaming at the mouth for The Source. The songs he’s debuted so far are phenomenal.

        • Awesome, thanks for that. Narrows it down a bit :-)

          • A Feed From Cloud Mountain

            No worries, always happy to help create a new Ayreonaut. Hopefully a few others add to that since I’m not completely versed in the whole discography and might be missing some gems.

          • GardensTale

            I’m scared that if I get into Ayreon right now I’m gonna be really fucking depressed when they play 3 shows in September about 10 minutes from my home and it’s all sold out.

          • A Feed From Cloud Mountain

            I’m sure those shows aren’t anywhere near me but I’m still disappointed. Ayreon shows are such a rare thing; not surprising at all to hear they are sold out.

          • PS-RagE

            My wife and I traveled from Canada to see “The Theater Equation” in Rotterdam. It was fantastic!

          • A Feed From Cloud Mountain

            Wow, that’s quite the trip. Visiting the Netherlands is definitely on my list of things to do before I die. Hopefully Arjen will be performing something somewhere when I do!

          • PS-RagE

            “Into The Electric Castle” is still my favourite but I think “Theory of Everything” is the best. Haven’t received my pre-order yet though so that may change.

        • Cameron Forester

          I preordered The Source and it arrived 3 days ago! I’m a crazy Ayreon fan and I won’t give any spoilers, but it’s my favourite Ayreon album already. It’s perfect. The songs that have been released barely do it justice.

          • LR

            I was still thinking if I should buy it or not. I’m too a huge Ayreon fan but it’s too expensive for me right now to buy the album, since I wanted the earbook. Guess I’ll break the pig bank. Damn you

          • A Feed From Cloud Mountain

            That’s great to hear, I was hoping preorders would go out early like they usually do. Are you in the EU by chance? I haven’t heard of anyone in the US getting their orders quite yet but I’m crossing my fingers for a delivery this week. Hopefully being on the east coast will help.

            In the meantime, I’ll be listening to Star Of Sirrah on repeat!

        • mtlman1990

          The Source is amazing. It’s the first Ayreon album I’ve really liked. Usually all the different singers bugs me. But this album is different.

          • A Feed From Cloud Mountain

            AHHH the hype grows, I cannot wait.

      • Diego Thomsen

        Start with Universal Migrator (both parts), then move to Into the Electric Castle, now you have a basic idea about the plot.
        If you enjoyed the cheesier parts, go to The Final Experiment (his weakest Ayreon album in my opinion).
        If you enjoyed the more serious and somber parts, listen to The Human Equation and 01011001.
        After you listen to 01…, listen to the track Epilogue: The Meory Remains (found on the compilation Timeline), which closes the story beautifully.
        Then listen to any of the remaining albums at your leisure. Actual Fantasy has no story, just a bunch os songs that feel like a “normal album”. The Theory of Everything (my favorite Ayreon album) has only four 20+ minute songs, and The Source is a prequel to the whole Forever storyline.
        It is important that you listen to each album (barring Actual Fantasy) while reading to the lyrics if you want to get the full Ayreon experience (and there are some important liner notes relating to the story in some of them).

  • Mephisto

    Sounds very bearable!

  • GardensTale

    Yaaaay Noumena! Absence was a damn great spin as well, lethally catchy

    • Feytalist

      Never heard of them before today. I’m surprised! They certainly sound right up my alley.

      I’m going to check out their back catalogue right now.

  • Sean Sky

    Mention of Dan Swanö and didn’t get 4.0+? Surprising.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    It’s the first time ever I see a bear in need of going to the dentist because his roots are showing!

    • Ivan E. Rection

      And a compound fracture of the left leg. No wonder it’s grumpy.

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        I wonder what hurts more…

        • Drew Music

          I don’t think it cares about either of those things, its fuckin eyes are on fire.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            It also seems to be wearing corpsepaint. Either that or it’s a panda.

          • [not a Dr]

            This changes my view of pandas forever.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            Pandas are baffling! I just read today about how they are White, Black and Asian at the same time!

  • Feytalist

    “with open arms and hearse”

    Welp, guess I’m listening to Opeth again.

  • Call me crazy but I don’t like this vocals very much. The same issue I have with Omnium Gatherum… For some reason I expect my Finnish/Swedish melo-death with higher pitched vocals, these are way too low….

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      The reason might be that In Flames, Dark Tranquillity and At The Gates all had high pitched vocals. The style originators went with high pitched vocals, therefore those vocals became the norm. I also expect Melodic Death Metal to have high pitched vocals, but I enjoy the lower register growls both as a departure from the norm and because in general I prefer growls to shrieks.

    • Thatguy

      Nah. The big deep growl really hits the spot.

      • I’m with Thatguy. What the hell is going on around here?

        • Thatguy

          Repeat after me – ‘Thatguy is not a miserable old bastard.’

          He just doesn’t like power metal.

          • Nobody tells me what to do. Not even me!

          • Thatguy

            Ha!

            A motto to live by.

        • Hulksteraus

          I’m with these old bustards (being an oldish bustard meself)

      • The Unicorn

        Yup. Misanthropolis will always scratch that itch the best, but this is good, nonetheless.

    • Asral

      Agreed. I liked the music in the embedded track a lot, but not really sold on the vocals (at least not yet, maybe they’ll grow on me).

      I will definitely check out more of the album.

    • Sophocles

      Deep guttural growls boost up the lack of bass in melodeath. Better sound balance this way. What? Issue with Omnium Gatherum??? Jukka disapproves and unleashes the hounds….

  • After listening to the sample tracks in the last two reviews: http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3986b53a0073e7fd05f6a9369798499081755a7e8f50d127ccda6f80b7e48bc0.jpg

    …furthermore, that solo is sweet. Melodic, restrained and to the point.

  • DS FTW!

  • The Unicorn

    Waited so long for this!!!!

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    I just realized the album was released on “Haunted Zoo Productions”. I wonder if the record label had the final word for the album cover.

    • Hulksteraus

      Gold!

  • Excentric_13073

    I don’t usually debate ratings, but the 3.0 seems odd given that you said that: “When it’s good it’s great and when it’s just good, it’s… good.”

    Good = 3.0
    Great = 4.0

    Seems like a 3.5 to me?

  • Wilhelm

    I love the melo-death metal, the problem I have with a lot of the post 90’s bands (Insomnium, Dark Tranquillity after The Minds I, OG, etc.) is the absence of actual death metal – I would like to hear a bit more double bass, tempo shifts, and maybe the odd blast beat.

    Saying that, this doesn’t sound too bad, the vocals could be better but really the music suffers from lack of creativity or imagination.

  • This is the best bear-themed metal I’ve heard today.

    Seriously though – good music, shit vocals.