posted on 2/2008 By:
At first glance, Malummeh has all the characteristics of a band of the more drone/post-industrial nature with their Van Gogh-esque album cover and obnoxiously Finnish band name. They are from Finland by the way. Reading through the song-titles is even more perplexing as they are very, shall we say, stock metal song titles. Upon initial listen I am further confused by the At the Gates aping that is taking place within the miniature amphitheatres strategically located on the side of my head. So my initial take on Malummeh is best described as, "huh?"
Malummeh is a melodic death metal band from Finland; that's about it. It's nothing anyone hasn't heard before and there is surely no ground being broken here. At the Gates, Soilwork, Dark Tranquility, you know the names and there are bits of them all found here. I was jaded to this sound some time ago and Malummeh doesn't do much to re-invigorate my interest in the genre. This sound has been done and done again and it's been made clear to me that while it's fun to play and combine with hardcore, it's been done. It's over, wait for the nostalgia to come in 10 years and we'll talk then. But....there's a flip side here as I did give this album some above average scores, and here's why.
What Malummeh does pull off is putting a level of authenticity into their sound. There's not much in the way of goofy machine noises (Callenish Circle), there are no clean vocals (thank you, thank you) and if there is a breakdown to be found it's actually pretty good and has some level of intensity. It's very straightforward and some of the riffs are mighty chunky and are more than enough to get your neck wagging. "Unbidden" has a pretty good breakdown around the 1:16 mark. Again, nothing to say 'WHOA!' over but it's good. "Buried In Your Heads" also has a more than apt breakdown at around 3:00.
The guitars are handled very well with lots of chunk and some very good melodies. Not too many solos, which I don't mind for a change. The drums are simple but effective--reminiscent of The Jester Race in some ways. Vocalist Marko Niemisto's vocals are very dry and a little redundant. He's similar to Marko Aro (ex-The Haunted) in tonality. Yet again, despite the repetition of his vocals, there are some very good vocal arrangements here, and that manages to keep the vocals from sinking this album.
Speaking of filler, you can imagine the middle of this album drags a little bit, and it does. But it has, not to sound like a cheerleader or a Care Bear, a lot of spirit. This band has some solid songwriting skills that rival the humble beginnings of those bands from Gothenburg. They manage to make a sound that is, in my opinion, more than on its way out to pasture, sound somewhat relevant. With that in mind, I think it's really the fault of the parents of these Finns, as this really should have come out 10 years ago to make any kind of a dent. Time is of the essence, as they say. This definitely speaks to the 15 year old fanboy in me, unfortunately he got killed by the 20 year old fanboy, who got killed by the 25 year old fanboy...and so on.
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