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Need: Orvam: A Song For Home

Need are a Greek Metal act who favour a variety of Progressive styles to get their message across. Now I'm guessing that this third album from the band is a conceptual piece, especially taking into account that "Hotel Oniro", the sixth track (of seven) on Orvam:A Song For Home (whatever that means?), is a spoken word piece with gentle acoustic and piano backing which leads into the final number, "Orvam". Oddly the gentle pace and abstract discussion on life, love and music that runs for the nearly three and a half minutes of this track is actually one of the most captivating on the album, even when the musical touching points elsewhere are reasonably wide and varied. The likes of Fates Warning, Nevermore and even Tool can be seen as loose comparisons, making an album that isn't exactly standalone in its execution, while remaining pleasantly difficult to convincingly pigeonhole. Yes we are in the realms of Prog Metal here, but not the blur of notes and instrumental battle that the genre often suggests. Still even taking all of these clever little aspects into account, I can't say I found this an easy album to engage. Possibly that's down to the unusual flow of light and shade which appears during each song, creating a very start stop experience which seldom provides the expected pay-off; instead opting for soul searching introspection, offering a claustrophobic conclusion as often as not.

However that I've found Orvam... a hard nut to crack doesn't actually mean that I haven't also enjoyed the journey it provides and there are little sections, such as the early Marillion-like passage in the title track which does surprise and delight, before heading back into grating guitars and jagged vocal harmonies, or the slow build of "Mother Madness" where stabs of keyboards dance round almost Metallica like slabs of guitar and pummelling drums. And yet I still find the voyage from start to finish on Orvam: A Song For Home to be one which never quite delivers on the undoubted promise displayed.

If you are looking for an enigmatic, reasonably individual burst of Metal with huge flavours of Math and Prog, then I'd suggest you check Need out. Possibly you'll find the elusive, missing piece of the jigsaw that I can't quite locate. Either way the picture it creates is still an interesting one, even if for me, not quite a complete one.

Track Listing
1. Lifeknot
2. Entheogen
3. Symmetrape
4. Mother Madness
5. Construct
6. Hotel Oniro
7. Orvam

Added: June 4th 2014
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Need at BandCamp
Hits: 1840
Language: english

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