Noumena – Myrrys (Haunted Zoo Productions)

Monday, 17th April 2017
Rating: 8.5/10

Surely the scholars of the melodic death metal scene are righteously frustrated by the state of Noumena. They’ve consistently put out some of the strongest work within the mournful side of the melodic death metal genre (Absence and Anatomy of Life being absolute essentials), and returned with from a 7-year absence with the solid Death Walks with Me – yet they’ve never received the outright acclaim of similar acts like Insomnium, Omnium Gatherum, or even Amorphis. Myrrys makes another excellent case for the band.

At this point 4-years removed from Death Walks with Me, Myrrys carries the same gloomy yet triumphant feelings Noumena has been known and loved for. Doom and gloom fill some of the longer tracks, such as the gripping closer “Syvällä vedessä” and provides evidence that 10-minute songs can be true highlights when the band fills the time with interesting material deserving of the length. Here Suvi Uura and Antti Haapanen trade sung and growled portions respectively, in a way that differentiates itself from the conventional ‘beauty and the beast’ crowd while longing guitar melodies soar overhead until some somber keys round it all out. Those afraid they miss out on some uplifting melodies need only to hear “Roihu” to induce a grin from ear-to-ear (or “Metsän viha” for that matter). An eloquent pairing of both catchy melodies and dreamy atmosphere awaits with each track, and the mix/mastering done by Mr. Dan Swanö assures that Myrrys is of the highest quality from any possible angle.

Still one of melodic death metal’s best kept secrets, Noumena have lost none of their charm in the wait between albums. Myrrys is poignant, at times soul-crushing, and yet glorious at others – a worthy addition to any melodeath fiend’s collection, and one would be encouraged to fill out the back catalog as well if this album is the first exposure.

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