Wed. Nov 25th, 2020

REVIEW: Nicumo – Inertia

Formed by guitarist Atte Jääskelä in Northern Finland in 2007, NICUMO went through some transformations and line-up changes but finally stabilized itself in 2009. After two EPs, “Close Our Eyes for Good” (2010) and “Scars & Glassy Eyes” (2011), they released their debut album“The End of Silence” in 2013, followed by “Storms Arise” in 2017, to positive reviews. Released this March via Inverse Records, NICUMO’s third album “Inertia” offers a more serene outlook on Finnish melancholy.

Balancing darkness and gloominess with smooth, rich vocal deliveries from singer Hannu Karppinen and melodic guitar leads and harmonies from both Atte Jääskelä and Tapio Anttiroiko, the album is sure to take the listeners on a wistful journey through sorrow and misery. Rooted in melodic metal but with influences from many other styles and genres, the nine songs provide a wide array of sounds and moods as the album unfolds. No matter how different the songs might sound, it’s the melancholic atmosphere that really unifies this album and makes it flow neatly from opener “Three Pyres,” which sets the mood with its powerful and melodic guitars, and up-tempo chorus sections, to closing track “Black Wolf,” a minimalistic number where ambiance is key, driven by beautiful drums from Aki Pusa, mostly peaceful vocals, and a light backing guitar melody. In between we have such power metal -type of tracks as “Dark Rivers” and “Mother and the Snake,” which boast soaring choruses that give more momentum to the album. “Tree of Life” is cinematic and almost progressive with its melancholy atmosphere, driving guitar melodies, and majestic refrain, while jazzy, dreamy “Same Blood” features some saxophone parts courtesy of Mikko-Ilari Ojala, beautiful bass lines, and a great guitar solo. On the heavier side of the record, “Witch Hunt” is a robust and groovy track, with harsh and clean vocals and a chugging guitar pattern, while “Who Are You” has some death metal touches, coming from the deep guttural parts; “Time Won’t Heal’ takes me back to HIM’s debut, “Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666” (1997), being heavy, melodic, and dark.

Those last three adjectives could, in fact, perfectly describe “Inertia” – a heavy and melodic affair with a gloomy and dark undertone, but still catchy enough to keep listeners engaged. Cohesive and moody, the album glides easily between mellow moments and more up-tempo songs, offering diversity and a fresh take on melancholic music.  

Written by Andrea Crow

Tracklist

  1. Three Pyres
  2. Dark Rivers
  3. Same Blood
  4. Witch Hunt
  5. Tree of Life
  6. Mother and The Snake
  7. Who You Are
  8. Time Won’t Heal
  9. Black Wolf

Lineup

Hannu Karppinen – Vocals
Atte Jääskelä – Guitar
Tapio Anttiroiko – Guitar
Sami Kotila – Bass
Aki Pusa – Drums

Label

Inverse Records

Links

Website  |  Facebook  |  Bandcamp

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