MINORA – Imago (2011)
Sweden, Gothenburg-based band MINORA, after various member changes now appear to have reached a stable rate. Since the current line-up was complete in 2008, worked hard to find its own musical language and sound, which ultimately resulted in the debut album “Imago”.
If I had to describe this album in just a single word, I would go with ‘atmosphere’.
Their style is non classifiable, mixing pretty heavy and melodic progressive metal lines with ethereal neo progg elements, where great importance seems to have been taken to develop melodies, arrangements, production and especially the instrumental craftsmanship.
The music sometimes is hard, dark and full of melancholy, but it definitely has a soft side when the clear keys come in giving to the songs an uncommon twist.
Opener “Mountain” in a good way reflects what we are about to hear on this album. Clean guitars during the verses that explodes into distortion in the chorus, an impressive percussive piano all over the song and a dry, compact rhythm section. Tommie Zetterlund has a very expressive and emotional vocal style that convey the band’s lyrics in a very competent manner.
The next track called November has more tempo changes, but retaining the atmospheric ‘aura’. The middle section is enchanting.
Same with “Disconnected” which is a little bit modern, and the riff more predominant.
“Between The Window Glasses” has an intriguing melody, a track driven by an interesting mix of clean/heavy guitars and syncopated drums. Again, the keyboard/piano adds texture and mistery.
“A New Dawn” is one of the real gems of this album, powerful, atmospheric (again), modern and commercial.
“My Goodbye” has a prog-metal pattern, but somehow it sounds sweet and melodic, with slow, increscendo passages. This is Minora trademark, expect the un-expected.
The band takes some risk covering Björk’s “Joga”. Yes, the Icelander. The result is a great, melodic and dark neo-progg version full of climax.
“Silence” is clean, softy, almost with a sense of flying or being suspended in the air. Fantastic keys on this one.
“Imago” is a real surprise.
Musically diverse, with tons of atmosphere all the way through. That is really the first thing you come to focus on when you listen to this band: the atmosphere in the songs.
The fisrt class production also seems focused on this atmospherical thing which is very much driven by the vocal style of Tommie Zetterlund and the sound of the fantastic piano lines.
But if we dig a bit deeper we start to find guitar driven neo-prog metal that lies as the foundation for everything.
Beautifully arranged album, with sense of melody and harmonies.
Very good debut.
01 – Mountain
02 – November
03 – Disconnected
04 – Between The Window Glasses
05 – A New Dawn
06 – My Goodbye
07 – Descending
08 – Joga
09 – The 4th Drive
10 – Silence
Tommie Zetterlund: Vocals
Kenny Jakobsson: Guitars
Claudio Oyarzo: Guitars
Fredrik Sandberg: Keyboards
Djilali Benarradj: Bass
Joseph Astorga: Drums
IF YOU LIKE IT, BUY IT!