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Noko: Noko

Hailing from Warzawa is grunge metal quintet Noko, a group with plenty of attitude and intensity. As you may know, the Polish city is quickly becoming the breeding ground for some of progressive metal's most interesting acts (with Riverside arguably standing as the best and most popular). Unfortunately, on their eponymous debut, Noko shows no signs of rising to the same ranks. Although an appropriate ferocity is present, a significant amount of individuality is not; the songs on Noko are as average and uninspired as they come, and the musicianship and arrangements are equally dull.

Truthfully, the tracks on Noko are 95% alike, so there's no real point in discussing them separately, other than to say that album closer "Before I Sleep" is more acoustic and melodic, which gives it somewhat of a specific identity in comparison to its generic predecessors. As for the preceding ten tracks, well, they essentially sound like a mishmash of Tool, Sun Domingo, Fate's Warning, Metallica, and any number of other heavy acts. Even though some choruses, like those on "See You Around," "Right on Time," and "She Goes Away," are pleasant enough (which is barely even a compliment, really), they fail to offer anything that you haven't heard before. Perhaps the most irritating aspect of Noko is how every guitar riff carries almost the exact same sound; it's as if their creators only know one chord and one effect setting.

The most that can be said for Noko is that it's listenable. While its elements fuse together well, its lack of originality and diversity is seriously bothersome. There isn't a single moment on this record that is the least bit fresh or daring, which is a shame. If you're the type of metal fan who doesn't mind generic genre constructions, by all means pick up Noko; however, if you're looking for something with its own flavor, you should definitely look elsewhere.


Track Listing
1) The Day Before
2) See You Around
3) Bad Thoughts
4) Free Your Love
5) Clouds Are Closing In
6) Right On Time
7) Stand For Me
8) Air's Still
9) She Goes Away
10) This War
11) Before I Sleep

Added: February 20th 2013
Reviewer: Jordan Blum
Score:
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Language: english

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