As you could read in my review for Minutian's debut album Repercussions (2011, see review), my thoughts were positive. I was convinced a bright future was glimpsing on the horizon for this band from Finland. Concerts were booked and the band was eager to play their music live. Than things changed for the bad and the band suffered the loss of one of their guitar players; Jaako Jernberg lost his life in an accident. Minutian almost came to a full stop, but the remaining members; vocalist Mikko Heino, drummer and percussionist Antti Ruokola, bass player Jouni Mikkola and guitarist Jesper Johnson took their time to reset and wanted to continue the band. A new member was found in guitarist Pekka Loponnen and soon the first compositions were written to be released as Inwards, the successor for Repercussions.
Where I found influences of Tool on the debut album, the music on the new album is more melodic and British influenced on some occasions, like the openers Hollow Heroics and On Derelict Sidings; two progressive compositions, musically very interesting, blending powerful passages with softer passionate parts. During these first songs, the vocals might cause some trouble for the regular reader; during the smoother and melodic parts Mikko shows he has an absolutely amazing voice, but when he moves to the higher regions or has to put more power in his voice, his voice gets rougher and raspier, some people might prefer that sound, personally I do appreciate his nonaggressive vocals more. Listen to ten minutes lasting highlight Aphelion, and decide for yourself. The Crust Of The Earth, Void Within and Burning Bright are songs that take off as a smooth song, immediately grabbing your attention, gently building tension and working their way to a powerful climax. Songs filled with nice drum chops, mean guitar riffs and contrasting melodic melodies. Basically Inwards is a great album, so why add a composition like Onus. I have noticed the addition of keyboards and piano to the band's sound and it does add something special to the sound, but to create a short toilet break in the middle of the album, filled with keyboard sounds, beats me. On the other hand the final composition of the album is the perfect commitment to their lost brother, who wrote both music and lyrics for Redemeer.
Minutian's second release has a different feel than the 2011 debut album and I guess life has had its influence. Resulting in a more mature album, with perfectly built compositions which are perfectly played by the band. At some points I still have some doubts about the vocal abilities of Mikko, mainly because on other occasions he sounds brilliant to me. Nevertheless Minutian has given us an impressive piece of music that deserves you attention. The road will lead them to a new future, a different path, but again with a bright sun ahead.
**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Astrid de Ronde)
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