A Review of the 2005 Album Called Absence by Finnish Melodic Death Metal Band "Noumena"
A Brief introduction to the band Noumena
Noumena may not be the name of a band that many heavy metal fans know about. But these guys from Finland are a pretty good bunch of musicians to listen to. Their 2005 album called Absence is an excellent melodic death metal release. Rather than get into the origin of the band’s name, for the purposes of this article, we will just give a complex review of the album and why it is so good. But first, here is the lineup of musicians that play on the album:
The Members of Noumena That Play On the Album Absence
Antti Haapanen: lead vocals
Tuuka Tuomela: guitars
Ville Lamminaho: guitars and backing vocals
Hannu Savolainen: bass guitars
Illka Unnbom: drums
Noumena's music has been influenced by bands such as In Flames and Sentenced
Right away with the opening song The End of the Century, we see why this band is so good to listen to. There is a lot of In Flames influence in the guitar playing particularly in this song in the 2.5 minute mark when the acoustic part kicks in. I’ve listened to plenty of melodic death metal albums in my lifetime but very few are of this high quality. But one obvious con about this album is the guttural vocal performance of Antti Haapanen. He is really hard to understand so this album will not be exactly perfect. In the third song called “The First Drop”, I see a little bit of guitar playing that reminds me of the Finnish band called Sentenced. Once again, if you listen very closely, you will hear some more guitar playing style reminiscent of mid 1990’s In Flames. There is a ton of melody in this album and that’s a great thing. The next song called Slain Memories is about a man who comes to the shore after a long journey. He is so frail, so sick and filled with mental and emotional anguish yet he is resigned to his fate. The song contains melodic, soft guitar playing. Note: with melodic death metal like this that is of such high quality, there is a possibility that your vibration may be raised.
"The End of the Century"
How does Noumena's vocalist compare to others in the genre?
How does Antti compare to some of the vocalists in this genre? His rough, guttural voice makes him one of the worst vocalists in the genre because he is so hard to understand. On the other hand, Pekka Kokko is easier to understand even though he has a rough, guttural vocal style too starting with the album called The Black Waltz (2006). Petri Lindroos of the band Ensiferum has a good rough voice that really fits with this genre of music and he is much easier to understand. In spite of Haapanen’s hard to understand vocals, the songs don’t really suffer from lack of quality. As of 2013, Noumena is still active and they have been around since 1998. They have survived as a band whereas other bands such as Imperanon and Norther have not been so fortunate.
More reasons why Noumena is a band that should get praise
The song called Here We Lie is about a person that had so much hope and promise sees his future snuffed out before his eyes. He feels that the darkness never ends. None of us would ever want to be without a future or without hope. Let’s be as positive and optimistic as we can! All Veiled has the best guitar playing of any song in the album and is the major highlight! I find this one to be a classic melodic death metal song even if the rhythm is not complex. Absence is the band’s second album. The Dream and the Escape has more brilliant acoustic guitar playing that even Dark Tranquillity would be impressed with. This song along with the songs The End of the Century, A Day to Depart, and All Veiled are the best songs in this album. Are Noumena as good as In Flames or Dark Tranquillity? I don’t think so but they are better than other bands such as The Wake or Insomnium. Absence gets a score of 85 out of 100 in the opinion of this writer. For those of you that enjoy the melodic death metal genre, this album is overall a very enjoyable one to listen to that has much variety in the songs. Noumena’s music is well written yet simple riffs are the normal thing that happen in the album. It is great to listen to even in 2016.
A Discography of the Band Noumena
Pride / Fall
Triumph and Loss (EP)
Anatomy of Life
Death Walks With Me
© 2016 Ara Vahanian