The Second Philosophy
posted on 1/2007 By:
Hailing from Spain, Nahemah is a progressive death/doom/something band that I’d not heard of until reviews for The Second Philosophy started popping up in various places around the metal press. Upon hearing the album, I understood how this relatively unheard-of (their previous album was on Spain’s little-known Iberian Moon Records) act got the support of metal heavy-hitters Lifeforce Records behind them; this album is a remarkably professional and mature stew of various styles that’s ultimately evocative and enjoyable but echoes other bands perhaps a bit too strongly.
The comparison this band seems to be drawing most frequently is to Sweden’s Opeth, and while the comparison isn’t unwarranted—there’s lots of gloomy atmosphere, loud/soft dynamic, and rich melody to be had on The Second Philosophy—it’s also not quite right. To me, Opeth always sounded far more ostentatiously “proggy” than Nahemah does; where Mikael Akerfeldt and company rely heavily on extended soloing and elaborate orchestration, these boys rely on a more direct and rending approach to communicate their pathos. The results are something like Burst without the hardcore influence or perhaps even the spectacularly underrated Swiss act Impure Wilhelmina (this later especially on the cutting, melancholic chord progressions of “Labrynthine Straight Ways”), though again neither of those comparisons are exact. Vocalist Pablo Egido perfectly channels Nathan Ellis of Daylight Dies, lending a distinctly more doomy air to the band’s decidedly stately and controlled assault. On top of it all is a thin, polished sheen of delay-drenched post rock that comes out most noticeably on the almost Dredg-esque “Subterranean Airport.”
All of these elements make for a listen that is emotionally charged and intellectually engaging, but somehow indistinct. I can’t help but feel that a band with this obviously stunning reserve of talent ought to pursue a more distinctive sound. Though their taste in influences is, in my humble opinion, impeccable, The Second Philosophy sounds like the product of a band with much more on the tip of their tongue. Good effort by Nahemah, but I really can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
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