As we’ve done the last two years, it behooves us to point out all the shit that we’ve missed in the last year. And 2011 has been mighty full of oversights from our side. This has been a pretty crazy year, but let me just say that I apologize and hope we can really make it up to you by throwing out a few awesome or pretty awesome records that we’ve managed to overlook due to time constraints or limited attention spans.

Nami - Fragile AlignmentsAndorra is not a large country. But a couple of years ago Persefone blew progressive metal fans away with Shin-Ken and now in 2011 fellow countrymen Nami have released a record that has been inexcusably overlooked by this Angry Metal Guy. Fusing together melodic death metal, progressive and acoustic tendencies à la Opeth and adding in a layer of Meshuggahesque riffing and polyrhythm Fragile Alignments is a truly interesting and pretty damn unique melodic/progressive death metal record. There is plenty to love here, but there are also a few things that don’t sit as well with me. Let me explain. 

The good for me is when the band is really rocking the melody and their acoustic work. Vocalist Roger Andreu has a great growl that actually is quite reminiscent of Mikael Ã…kerfeldt in tone and extremity, but he also has a very unique clean vocal approach that I can’t really compare to anyone else. In these moments, and when the band is knocking out melodic and technical works, firing on all four cylinders with the bass and drums being just as unique and interesting as the riffing they’re doing like on the track “Loop of Truth (The Link), these guys excite the hell out of me. This stuff makes my little angry heart forget all about all the shit and focus on the amazing talent of this band. And a good portion of this record has riff after blistering riff that makes me… wanna rage (thanks Sacred Reich!). And there’s a ton of this going on. I’d say 80% of the record is made up of mind blowing melodeath riffing that vacillates between tech and just plain melodic, or beautiful acoustic work. These two overlap in amazing ways, as well, on the track “Conscience of the Void (From Oblivion to the Renew) – Water”.

Nami - 2011For me, the downfall of this record is the stuff that’ll make so-called djentlemen shit themselves with glee. With the very modern Jens Bogren production behind them, Nami also has a side to them that is way more techy. Sometimes this is well done, but sometimes it just bores me to tears. While I’m a huge fan of progressive music, I often feel like these parts are more forced than they need to be. So while in the track “Cosmical Beginning – Air” these guys have a Death or Cynic kind of vibe going on, that makes the tech awesome, other tracks like “The Inner Man – Materia” and “Oppression and Understanding – Fire” (and others) have parts that leave me pretty cold at times because they sound forced and unnatural in their context.

Overall, though, I’d still give this record a really high score (if this were one of those scoring kind of reviews). It really drags me in, despite the extraordinarily high production values and replaced sounding drums and the long running time (about an hour). The music these guys are producing is really fantastic and the potential for greatness here is through the fucking roof. I expect great things from Nami in the future and I hope you take the time to check ’em out.

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  • Colin Stuart

    Very, very impressed.

  • Really like this album, thanks for the review. The djenty bits are not overdone imo, they work as added spice. Thankfully the production is not too modern sounding either.

    I found the Bandcamp of their label Year of the Sun Records and added the album to the Metal Bandcamp blog here http://metalbandcamp.com/2011/12/nami-fragile-alignments-year-of-sun.html

  • Torbjörn Tapani

    Good stuff.