Review Summary: What if Opeth and Mr. Bungle had a love-child?
Comparison to a clone can often leave albums collecting dust (pardon the archaic reference) rather than getting the plays and the proper recognition some justly deserve. The clone-band argument is not without merit and there are a stagnant pool of rip-off acts that went nowhere fast; Farmakon
is not one of these bands.
A Warm Glimpse
can be lumped into similar category and sub-genre labeling through their heavy influence of progressive metal music. That being said, despite Opeth
being a frontrunner for the progressive death side of things, they do not by any means own the genre, nor have they exhausted all of its possibilities. Enter Farmakon: really more of the spawn of Opeth and say the likes of Mr. Bungle
. With the straight up jazz influences and interludes alongside a barrage of funk-based riffs, these guys set themselves apart from their peers rather clearly. A Warm Glimpse is the band’s first studio outing, serving as a first glimpse (sorry) to what they have to offer the death metal community. Starting forcefully with Loosely of Amoebas
, the track showcases both jazz and funk influences, while staying firmly rooted within the realm of progressive death. The duel guitar delivery works pretty nicely with this band, though for the most part you’ll hear a crunchy riff doubled up on two guitars. Still, it’s nice to have the extra there for the odd Opeth-esc classical-styled riff (see Mist
and Stretching into Me
) and the scattered jazz themes. Vocally, there isn’t a whole lot going on here that’ll blow the listener away, as bassist/vocalist Marko Eskola seems to still be working on his craft. Improvements to both his clean and death vocals would come later, but for comparisons-sake, they don’t come close to Akerfelt’s.
Perhaps the most important thing about this band is that they aren’t boring; they take progressive death metal (a genre that definitely has the potential to hold a listeners interest) and put a few more twists and turns on it, creating something even more unique than the foundations they built on. The paces of the songs shift so chaotically yet seamlessly, grabbing said interest in a chokehold not to be released unto the conclusion of the record. Despite the chaos, however, are moments that feel like sudden tranquility. Pretty breakdowns accomplished by the duel talents of Toni Salminen and Lassi Paunonen emerge through the brutal riffing, at times showcasing elements as far reaching as the blues and a little flamenco.
Admittedly, this isn’t much of a single-spawning record. There really isn’t a standout track, but rather that this album flows almost as one continuous track. That isn’t to say it sounds redundant by any means, but there is continuity about A Warm Glimpse. It’s easy to label this band as a clone and ignore them completely – I almost made that mistake myself. The truth is that I’m sure they borrowed from Opeth’s sound – Opeth is ***ing wicked. That doesn’t mean you’re going to find another Opeth album here, or even a band that’s trying to sound like them. I say they have good taste if anything, and that this record and band are really worth checking out.
If you need a taste to satisfy your curiosity I’d try out Loosely of Amoebas
or Pearl of My Suffering