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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Review: The Unknown - In Search Of The Unknown

It is not often, or better said, never, that we come across a Teheran based doom band. Consisting of Iranian Iria Moghaddamand and Kevin Pribulsky from the band 'In search of', it is not hard, yet witty creative, to come up with an album title like 'In search of the unknown'. The album is the first full length after two single releases, one of them being a cooperation with none less than Anathema's Daniel Cavanagh. On this album it is Thomas Helm of Empyrium who is invited for some guest vocals.

The doominess of the album comes not from a metalbase, but from dark craving, set into music. The album title is very fitting. Spoken word performances strengthen the feeling of being on a quest, searching for...well...the unknown. The musical arrangements vary within four parts of only one 40-minute track. From dark, prelonged guitarchords, to a filmic mix of hospital sounds, poetic spoken word, rain, crying, the Love story tune on a piano, to electronic chimes and string arrangements. The latter contributing to an alienating feel, like being drawn into space. Exactly that is the intent of the band, looking at the title of the third part of the song: Symphony of the planets.

The last part, lasting about one-third of the song, is more rock-orientated music, nice, but not necessarily a new kind of music. It finishes the journey much more musical that it started. Although nice to listen to and definitely with some good symphonic metal moments and interesting addition of female vocals, it does not entirely fit the rest of the album.

All in all the album is two-third experimental journey, interesting mix of moods and sounds, alienating in some way, and one-third sympho metal. The choice for making this all one song is a bit unclear. Especially because the last part is so outstanding from the rest. A good listen? Absolutely. Atmospheric? Definitely. One whole? Not really. Does it matter? Not really. I am a content man listening to my first ever Iranian album, being drawn into an interesting world. But if it ended after 25 minutes I would have felt more content.

Written by Martijn Bakker

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