Review Summary: This album hints at greatness, and at one point in the album that is achieved, but for the most part this is a mediocre album that gets boring after the first listen, not very good, but not particularly bad either.
Melodic Death metal, but not from Sweden, this time Finland but the music still doesn't manage to break the mediocrity of a lot of bands in this genre, instead this is one of the most average albums I've heard in a while. They have a slightly different sound from a lot of melodic death metal bands, but it never really gets good.
Antii Haapanen - Vocals
Tuukka Tuomela - Guitar, Vocals
Ville Lamminaho - Guitar, Vocals
Hannu Savolainen - Bass
Ilkka Unnbom - Drums
What Noumena deliver straight from the start, is bass heavy, melody driven death metal with a slight gothic touch. The vocals are deep and menacing, the drums are efficient, the bass is woven throughout each song and the guitarists play some catchy hooks, but it just isn't good enough. While the album starts off strongly with 'Misanthropolis', it gets repetitive almost immediately afterwards. There doesn't seem to be any passion, there's skill, but the songs all sound the same despite not actually being the same, because they use a very similar formula, the bass the lead guitar always leads the song forward, the vocals are always the same pitch, except for the occasional clean vocals, which don't add anything to the music. There is little variety. Anatomy Of Life' mainly goes on and on where the listener does not. Noumena misses just that last 'touch' to make their album good. The music is very full of atmosphere, but at the same time allows you to get distracted far too easily.
The songs, while all being quite short, seem to drag on, and like the album they get boring quickly. Too many times a song will start off strongly and you think, 'this could be good', but then the band settle back into their comfort zone, unwilling, or unable to take their music any further. 'The Burning' and 'Retrospection' are perfect examples of this. The only two tracks that redeem this album are 'Triumph and Loss' and 'Marionettes'. The first song keeps a good pace all the way through, and despite being just as repetitive as the other songs on the album, it shows that the band can make their formula work with just a little more power, and an amazingly catchy guitar lead through the chorus, the rest of the album lacked little things like that. 'Marionettes' has a slight folky feel to it, and the only song where Noumena try something slightly different and stick with it all the way through the song, the lead guitar is slightly less in your face in this song, but when it gets flowing it shows what the rest of the album should have been like, and is the best song of the album, for the first time in the album the singer actually varies his growls; it gives the music such a more agressive feel it really is a shame he didn't use it more.
This album hints at greatness, and at one point in the album that is achieved, but for the most part this is a mediocre album that gets boring after the first listen, not very good, but not particularly bad either.
+ Good atmosphere
+ Technically not bad
- Frustratingly not as good as it could be