Northern Finland is home to a new genre: Melancholic metal. What is that, you may ask? A genre used to describe the music Finnish band Nicumo creates. It takes cues from different genres, such as goth rock, death metal and doom. Instead you get an unforgettable, unique experience that has a melodic and melancholic sound to it. Nicumo was initiated by guitarist Atte Jääskelä in Northern Finland in 2007. They found their definite direction with a brand new line up in 2009. Now it’s time for a second full length album, called “Storm Arise”. “Storms Arise” follows the band’s well reviewed debut “The End of Silence” and takes a step towards even more versatile scales of music and emotions.
The choice of the album cover in the first place is spot on, the artwork is in line with the soundscapes. It’s very minimal in a way, but has a sort of mysterious look to it as well, thus a good choice for “Storms Arise”. The album itself contains eleven brand new tracks, which encompass soundscapes and melancholic melodies. Moreover, there is also room for some heaviness and headbang-worthy passages. Their style is clearly influenced a lot by coming from up north.
The album opens with “The Dawn”, an instrumental track. “The Dawn” sets immediately the right mood as it provides you with an atmospheric melodic soundscape. Once concluded, “Old World Burning” kicks in. A song that alternates clean vocals with grunts. It is here we already can get acquainted with the potential of vocalist Hannu Karppinen. The nine tracks that follow are as melodic and heavy as the previous ones. You get sucked into the atmosphere and it keeps you captivated until the end. Sometimes there is also some surprises in the songs such as “Unholy War”, which combines oriental melodies with some elements from grunge. “If This Is Your God, I Don’t Need One” is perhaps the heaviest track on the album, it has a very tight and compelling guitar solo and stands out from the rest of the album.
Nicumo balances melodic, soft and melancholic passages with more harsher tones. There is so much variety in this album, that every song feels different, but yet it also feels like a coherent album. They are never out of line, they’re always captivating and certainly never boring. Moreover, the album is well executed, the production is smooth and it shows how much the band has developed over the years.
So if you like to lose yourself in the moment with music, get totally immersed with all the soundscapes and want something that is not boring, this album is definitely for you. You will get eleven tracks with unexpected rhythmic elements, melancholic melodies that move you and versatile soundscapes to immerse in.
01. The Dawn
02. Old World Burning
03. Beyond Horizon
04. Unholy War
05. Death, Let Go
08. If This Is Your God, I Don’t Need One
11. Dream Too Real
Hannu Karppinen – Vocals
Atte Jääskelä – Guitars
Tapio Anttiroiko – Guitars
Sami Kotila – Bass
Aki Pusa – Drums