Getting old for me it’s not when I can’t do something physically but when I want to complain that everything was better, simpler and clearer in those good old days. Finns IA with their debut album initIAtion caused me to think like that for a moment because of their genre’s definition, “Shamanic Metal”. Sounds impressive but still not quite understandable what’s this.
On the band’s facebook page it says: “IA is a shamanic musical/visual concept, designed to induce states of trance and bring the listener beyond the limits of ordinary awareness”. It seems to be great but for the man like me, who is way too far from spiritual practices it’s something incomprehensible. So I let the spiritual side of this to more competent people and I’ll talk about the music, especially when it has a word “Metal” in description.
If we generalize all seven songs of initIAtion, it can be said that it’s a middle-tempo Groove Metal with lots of elements, which create some mystic atmosphere. At first glance music reminds Roots era’s Sepultura but with some big reservations.
An album opens with “PromethIA”, smooth and robust song with interesting drum patterns, solid riffs and thick bass. Rough growling vocal changed with whispering from time to time, which along with relatively smooth music and repetitive music lines is really hypnotic. Same thing happens in the next “IA”, except more melodic intro and pace, which is changing a couple of times during the song.
In its turn, “Blackcurrent” is much more diverse: started in slow tempo with tenebrous weird sounds, the song goes to dark Groove Metal. Bit suddenly all the heaviness disappears in verses, the vocal becomes clean and melancholic a little bit and music turns to something similar to A Perfect Circle, for example and in choruses heaviness turns back. All this played in the same pace and in some moment it becomes really addictive, even if it’s just played on the background.
However, the most impressive song in the album is 11-minutes long “The Golden King of the Forest”. It starts with rhythmical drum beating and almost Folk acoustic guitar, turning to an odd melody with rigid vocals. The main music theme changes a couple of times and in some moment you can hear not the singing but rhythmical invocations’ reading, which is very atmospheric especially when it goes with the music. In the middle of the song some female vocals can be heard and this changes the whole mood sharply. After that the band starts to play already familiar rough Groove, yet quite dark and intense. The variety of melodies and changes of paces are mesmerizing.
Although this magic doesn’t happens with “The Initiation”. It would seem that all necessary components are present here: solid riff, shamanic singing, extreme vocals and groove, but seems like this song impresses less against the previous one. Nevertheless, a very interesting solo should be mentioned and a seamless transition to an atmospheric instrumental “The Collapse”.
initIAtion ends with “Skeletonize”, which has more Metal and less “shamanic”, although jaw harp can be heard in the middle but it lasts not too long and the album ends with solid riff and atmospheric background sounds.
All in all, it can’t be said that IA invented a new genre or brought something definitely new to the music. But with this initiation is very interesting album with uncommon sound, very atmospheric and mesmerizing. All the more, this music will greatly work with appropriately designed show. So don’t pass by this album!
initIAtion was released in June, 26th.
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