8 March 2016
Huminoita - All is One
Another submission, this time it is from the Frozen North we have Huminoita and their second album called 'All is One' which was released in 2015, the album is released on Luova Records. There is not much else I can tell you apart from the fact that they are mostly a five piece (sometimes more) from Finland and that they allegedly mix metal, rock & jazz without any twiddle. they take their name from the sound of the wind going through the branches of trees and Notia translates to witch. It is all very mysterious and the cover with two elephants in infinite loops is intriguing as well. However, this is not going to give me (or by extension you the reader) any information about their music or how it is presented. I guess the only way I am gonna find out that sort of information is to listen to the album itself, so let us get on with the show.
Starting off this album is "The Sheriff" which begins with a low sounding atmospheric cymbal crash as the guitar starts to wail mournfully to itself. The rest of the band come in slowly but surely, each with an entrance so subtly that it is almost unnoticed and you seem surprised that you did not hear them in the first place. When the chanting & slow vocals kick in, it starts to build to a prog rock style droning jam that goes in no specific direction, apart from one that feels right. It drops into a solo that is right out of the David Gilmour school of 'nailing that bastard to the heart' and all the while it is still building up to something else. It follows this pattern all the way through with horns, wood instrumentation, keyboards and loud drumming; every now and then hitting a lull so the build can happen once more, with all this happening you do not notice that seven minutes have passed through and it is very easy to hit repeat if this is your sort of thing, but it is very much a speciality tune and definitely for those who love their music to be progressive. The second track is "Hymn 23" which keeps the music nice and loose at the beginning, the organ sounding like it is jumping between falling notes, the guitar sounding as if it is giving the lonely thoughts musical form and it is all being held together with a steady bass line and precision drumming. When the song steps it up a gear, again the vocals are more chants that actual songs; there are no words, so there is no distraction from the music itself and the sound of the vocalists is just another series of notes to add onto this song. It is a great tune that keeps on giving and once again, it is one that will be for purists of the genre as well. The mid-way point of this album is a song called "Goliath", which continues the epic feeling of the album; this is the first song on the album to reach a peak early on and not really let go of that momentum until the natural ending as it seems to ride a huge wave of sound. It starts off with huge sense of expectation from that almost grunge sounding opening riff, to the waves of sound that follow on. It is my favourite song of the album, it is just one of those moments where everything comes together just right and you cannot stop smiling at the sound.
The second half of the album starts with a slow guitar introduction of “The Pilgrim” which develops into a solid jazz/prog number with a saxophone solo at the beginning, a huge wall of feedback and a number that solidifies the album in the listener’s mind. It moves through various sections of peaks and troughs where the band show they can play incredibly hard, then hit the audience with the lightest of touches. It is an incredibly varied number, showcasing all the strengths of the band and that all the styles on offer can be merged into one. The penultimate song of the album is called “King of Hearts” and it is the longest song on the album at just under eleven minutes long; the song starts with the slow burning riff which they add layer upon layer to, eventually the band drop in and it is all lower end menace with a grunge feeling to the sound. The length of the song and riff remind me of both Mad Season and Goat, mixing elements of both to form this titanic number. However, it is also the song on the album which sadly fails to reach the highest of the other tracks on the album; it is a good number that I enjoy, but the others are great. Even with the slower drop off and solos and emotive building towards its final notes, there is something missing from the song that makes it anything more than good. Ending the album is “Hymn 24” which ends the album with a mournful solo, it guides you down from the heights of this album. It is a wounded number that sounds as if it is bleeding from the heart, with the emotion coming from the guitar it is hard not to be moved by this number. It is a sombre moment to end the album, but oddly fitting as well.
Huminoita have created a beautiful record here, it is one of those moments where it all comes together for a band and it all fits into place very early on in their recording career. It beings so much to the table that it would be hard for any progressive rock fan to ignore, but it is not a genre buster to be honest either. It is very much an album that is for its own people and that is a fine thing. However, it also sounds as if the band have more to give and will improve with the years, which is also something that you look for in a band. It might only be six songs long, but these songs make up in depth what the album might lack in quantity – if you are looking for so new prog, these are the band for you.
8 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart.
Top track - Goliath
You can purchase All is One from Amazon here
You can also purchase from the Huminoita Bandcamp page here
You can follow the activates of Huminotia on Facebook here
You can stream All in One on Spotify here
You can stream All in One on Deezer here
You can stream All in One on Tidal here
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