Having impressed critics and fans alike with their debut album Fragile Alignments two years ago, there was a strong anticipation for its successor from Andorrans Nami. The album was a fusion of brutality and melodic textures which impressively ignited the imagination and tested the senses whilst installing the band as one of the most inventive and challenging emerging forces. Now the quintet returns with its successor The Eternal Light of the Unconscious Mind, an album which builds potently upon the band’s introduction with a maturity and evolution of sound which leaves any hopes and assumptions for the release short changing the realised ingenuity and might.
Released via Year of the Sun Records, the album sees the band reuniting with producer Jens Bögren (Opeth, Soilwork, Amon Amarth) and featuring guest performances from Loïc Rossetti of The Ocean as well as Carlos Lozano and Marc Martins of Persefone. The release explores further the progressive melodic side of its predecessor, though aggression and brutal energy is not left aside on The Eternal Light Of The Unconscious Mind. It is a ferociously imaginative and sculpted tempest of textures and ambiences, an intensive intrusive beauty crafted by blazes of diversely infused metal for an evocative provocation which cements and stretches Nami’s presence as an emerging force.
The Beholders opens things up with an absorbing synth created ambience, a elegant beckoning which even with the vocal angst lit squalls of Roger Andreu making their presence known hold attention with a warm potent lure. The song soon uncages its deepest intensity and shadows though, scarring riffs and demanding rhythms ridden by harsh antagonistic vocals provoking the senses; simultaneously though the guitars of Iván Marín and Filipe Baldaia the track provides an enthralling melodic temptation alongside its rapacious intent and hunger. It is a blend which captures and inspires the imagination whilst senses and passion are taken on an ever shifting exploration of compelling structures and breath-taking textures. Thoughts of The Ocean and Gojira grace the encounter at times but it is something unique to Nami which sets the sound, song, and release distinctly apart.
The following Ariadna launches a full on predation from its first second, the drum and bass pressuring of Sergi Verdeguer and Ricard Tolosa respectively an immediate enslavement which ebbs and flows in intimidation to compliment and shadow the melodic grace and poetic air of the song. It is a glorious enticement with saxophone fire evoking greater appetite for its bewitching narrative within again a continually evolving expanse of progressive exploration.
Through the riveting Silent Mouth with its rolling rhythmic contagion and sonic sculpting aligned to immense vocal persuasion, and the intensively oppressive yet invitingly magnetic Hunter’s Dormancy, the album continues to hold thoughts and emotions in a tight inventive grip. The second of the two is a heavy prowl of the senses which like all tracks is willing to savage expectations with unpredictable detours and imaginative shifts of sound, whilst its successor The Animal and The Golden Throne merges a classical and caustic incitement into an evocation which pales against its predecessors but adds a thought pushing element to the album’s concept of looking at dreams and the unconscious.
Both Bless of Faintness and Hope in Faintness entice the listener deeper into their and the album’s seduction, the pair a linked fascination of sound and intent which continues the inventiveness and mouthwatering potency of album and band. Crimson Sky and The Dream Eater complete the album, the two tracks providing a strong lure of adventure and suasion though they fail to set the same heights as earlier songs, the first half of the album stronger than it’s second. The songs nevertheless are dramatically powerful and creatively intense and only slip because of the staggering excellence of those at the start of the journey.
The Eternal Light of the Unconscious Mind is a thrilling emprise, one which not only provides incontestable evidence of the promise and quality of Nami but stands as one of the progressive metal treats this year.
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