It’s no secret that we love a bit of prog over here at Planetmosh, in all its forms. Progressive music as a whole is simultaneously the cheesiest and most ridiculous genre we have and the most serious and overtly complex. The simple banner of “progressive” fits snugly alongside virtually any style of music, and with that banner comes a certain amount of artistic freedom (hence why Rush were well within their rights to dabble in synth-pop in the 80’s!). In that regard, the gamut that Minutian manage to run on Repercussions, their debut album, is no surprise at all. In gloriously overblown fashion, it flits from the bizarre to the bombastic with shameless aplomb, though the ingredients to their overall recipe don’t always taste as good as they could.
Opening number ‘Hole’ owes as much to Dream Theater as it does to Katatonia, with as much emphasis on brooding, doleful passages as there is on time signature changes, and the odd dabble of fretboard wankery certainly does not go amiss. Musically at least, Minutian are flawlessly metallic when they crank the volume and thoroughly bleak when they tone it down, with flashes of Opeth and Porcupine Tree emanating throughout – ‘Cold & Tight’ wouldn’t sound at all out of place on any of the latter’s past three albums, while the more traditionally proggy recent output of the former cloaks ‘Give In’ with an unsettling melancholy. Compositionally, there is nary a fault to be found on Repercussions, but there is a tangible sense of mismatching throughout the album. To put it bluntly, vocalist Mikko Heino is, in spite of his obvious talent, not right for this band. Let that not be taken in an insulting way – Heino possesses a captivatingly versatile set of pipes, jumping from subdued and tender to epic and boisterous with professional ease, with plenty of vibrato to go around, but his timbre is more befitting of a more traditional progressive band or, dare we say it, a power metal act. This results in, though the melodies are overall perfect for the material they drape against, a slightly jarring effect – a band so indebted to Tool and the like just do not fit with a vocal style more reminiscent of Symphony X. That being said, this is merely a minor gripe, and closing instrumental ‘Three By Five’ thankfully allows the talents of the musicians that back him to be the prime focus.
In summation, Repercussions is an expertly assembled collection of riffs and proggy atmospherics that easily matches up to any of today’s most revered progressive acts. All Minutian are lacking is a sense of identity, but the potential showcased on this album is too obvious to ignore. So long as they receive the right backing, don’t be surprised if you see Minutian turning up on some of the most sought after progressive tours in the next few years. Repercussions is a beast.
Repercussions is out now via Two Side Moon/SLW Promotions
2. In Circles
3. Cold & Tight
4. Give In
7. Three By Five
Antti Ruokola – Drums & Percussion
Mikko Heino – Vocals
Jouni Mikkola – Bass
Jaakko Jernberg – Guitar
Jesper Johnson – Guitar