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Nahemah: The Second Philosophy

Well, 2007 is shaping up to be a great year for heavy music. And with that, enters Spain's Progressive Metal band, Nahemah. With this 2nd full release, The Second Philosophy, Nahemah are ready to make their presence known. This 10 track CD is simply brilliant, invoking comparisons to the mighty Opeth and Porcupine Tree, as well as Swedish masters Dark Tranquility. For a more obscure reference, I hear a bit of the US based, quirkiness that is HUM in Nahemah's brilliance. Another parallel would be Rage For Order era Queensryche. Very brooding and atmospheric with both heavy and spacey undertones throughout. Indeed, 2007 is starting out pretty awesome!

The Second Philosophy begins with the haunting "Siamese". A track that fully sets the landscape of the picture to painted within. Dark and mid paced, it weaves its way through a myriad of time changes and moods. Simply awesome stuff. Very melodic and full of orchestral sections with both classic styled vocals and the evil Opeth-ish growls that will keep both Prog Metallers and Death Metal fans happy. Nahemah have found a way to mix the beautiful and the dark into one great CD that is another 2007 must listen.

Superbly produced with a lot of detail to audio spatialness, The Second Philosophy is a CD that pretty much commands you to listen to it from beginning all the through to the end. Much like a Floyd record of the '70's, there are a bunch of things going on underneath each track that just gives it another dimension, a depth that simply draws you in. As an example, check out "Like A Butterfly In A Storm". Eerie, beautiful and full of substance. Even the faster tracks on this CD like "Change" are so musically diverse and heavy with so much drama within them, that you find yourself wanting the song to never end.

With a strong conviction to melody, Nahemah shape each track on The Second Philosophy as an individual work of art. Each piece has its own life force, full of anguish, ecstasy and is very thought provoking. A combination that is not found very readily. While Nahemah do conjure up some comparisons to a couple of bands, they are still traveling down a path of some uncharted territory. Nahemah are quite an original band and this CD delivers not one clunker of a track. And in this age of the iPod, finding a CD where you will rip all the songs off of it onto your iPod is unusual. But not in this case. All 10 tracks are now on my iPod & I dare you not to do the same thing.

Nahemah's The Second Philosophy is a MUST HAVE CD. Simple as that!

1. Siamese
2. Killing My Architect
3. Nothing
4. Like A Butterfly In A Storm
5. Changes
6. Labyrinthine Straight Ways
7. Subterranean Airports
8. Phoenix
9. Today Sunshine Ain't The Same
10. The Speech

Added: March 18th 2007
Reviewer: Butch Jones
Related Link: Nahemah Website
Hits: 4653
Language: english

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Nahemah: The Second Philosophy
Posted by Murat Batmaz, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-03-18 08:26:00
My Score:

Nahemah have signed to Lifeforce Records recently and, based on the material I've heard from other bands on this label, they are vastly different in that they are arguably the first progressive band there. Their signature mix of Opethian death metal and the more psychedelic elements heard on Pink Floyd and modern day Porcupine Tree albums dominate their craft, with long yet never boring instrumental passages, utilising a blend of acoustic guitars, simmering keyboards, cracking cymbals, and eerie rhythmic angles.

Even though the album opens up with the ferocious "Siamese", replete with deep death metal growls backed up by clean vocal harmonies, the most representative songs on this disc has got to be "Killing My Architect", with merciless growls blasting out the speakers right from the get-go before picking up neat Floydian guitar textures (those heard on Opeth's Blackwater Park) and entirely solo clean vocals. The drumming lends itself to jazzy soundscapes atop a bittersweet acoustic passage prior to the song's massively heavy ending. It concludes with wide-open synths setting in and forming a densely orchestrated coda. Likewise, "Nothing" showcases bits of every aspect of the band's sound on this album. Starting with spoken female vocals, as if the speaker is narrating a tragic news story in Spanish, the constant riffing and growls bring to mind Opeth, although musically they're not that alike. There are plenty of time changes on this song, with deeply atmospheric acoustic sections providing dynamics to the stomping twin guitar riffery; whilst vocalist Pablo Egido displays every style he is capable of to match the flow: he growls, does monk-like clean chants, and whispers.

On the more Floydian pieces, multiple guitar parts are placed on one another and the pairing of clean and aggressive vocals work perfectly. The last two songs, "Today Sunshine Ain't the Same" and "The Speech" will appeal to fans of more laidback yet challenging-beneath-the-surface songwriting. The former is sort of like Novembre on their last album Materia, bringing forth nice clean tones and cool hand drumming whilst "The Speech" is like a mix of Steven Wilson's No-Man and Blackfield projects. The acoustic guitar tone on this song is tremendous. Another interesting song is "Subterranean Airports", starting in bleak tone with doomy riffs and strange wind effects. It almost feels like a song from another band before vibrant twin guitar harmonies belie the apocalyptic intro, producing surprisingly catchy or, dare I say, hopeful riffs and melodies.

On the darker front, "Phoenix", a largely instrumental piece, is gloomy through and through, with mini-riffs sprinkled over atonal soundscapes, strange noises, and a sparsely pulsing drum beat. During the finale, as clean vocals are woven into the mix, one cannot help but think of Mikael Akerfeldt on the earlier Opeth albums. More Opeth references could be attributed to "Labyrinthine Straight Ways" in the way the syncopated middle part is arranged, but as mentioned before, it's more the feel of the song rather than the structure. With all that said, the most amazing song on the album is "Change". It exudes dark acoustic guitars morphing into killer riffs and the mix panning the vocals from right to left speaker is absolutely mindblowing. There is also a lengthy interplay offered in the middle and the shift from clean to death vocals captivates the unsettling mood of the track excellently. The psyechedelic guitar lines at the end, the way they wrap the spoken vocals, result in an impossibly moving ending, rarely heard in any genre.

It is not too common to see a Spanish band emerge out of nowhere and catch everyone by surprise. Let's hope The Second Philosophy garners them the attention they so well deserve.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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