The post-metal band Momentum came back to us with a new, long-awaited album entitled ‘The Freak is Alive’, released under the banner of the Norwegian record company Dark Essence Records in February 2015.
On their second record, Momentum continue going down the road taken on their previous release ‘Fixation, At Rest’ (2010) in a beautiful style. They skillfully combine progressive death metal with elements of post-metal space and a gloomy (doom) atmosphere, sprinkling them with psychedelic/sludge/black metal threads. Some ethnic element appears here as well. The musicians broaden the limits of metal by reaching beyond basic instrumentation. They take advantage of the sounds of sitars, a piano and violin, which they weave or blend into a thick mass of guitar riffs, bass lines and percussion passages, because these things constitute the general foundation here and dominate the rest.
While the debut showed inspiration by the achievements of groups like ISIS, Cult of Luna, Envy and even Neurosis or Gojira, now this list of bands can be extended to include Tiamat, Opeth, November’s Doom and Katatonia.
In the atmospheric sound of ‘The Freak Is Alive’, soft, deep and clear vocals brilliantly intertwine with a pleasant though aggressive growl. Regardless of the form of expression, the vocals always present themselves as dignified and majestic. The singing is intense and full of emotional involvement. Similarly, when it comes to diversity, the instruments are used to show a full range of moods, rhythms, and also for calm and strong passages. Their music is very complex and multidimensional. It oscillates between heaviness and melodiousness, purity and filth, silence and noise, and finally between sadness, beauty and aggression. In spite of that, Momentum manage to keep the right balance and flavour in their music. And this is the most important thing about it all; it makes their album an absolutely great and unique release.
The concept of the album has been done in an interesting way as well. The music, compositions’ titles and lyrics also correspond with specially designed graphics that were created by the band’s frontman Holaf. It’s not only the sleeve, as each composition also has its own graphic design. All of the components work together, making the album something more than just a collection of songs. All the elements of one puzzle allow for multiple and free interpretations that are solely dependent on our imaginations and experiences. Anyway, the musicians made sure that it could be something personal for every listener. It seems that this way Momentum send us an invitation to a surreal journey through the human subconscious; a journey which is seemingly difficult, gloomy and rather sad. I understand that not everyone is in a hurry to explore the essence of his or her existence. All in all, ‘everybody has a bee in their bonnet’ and is a ‘freak’ in their own way.
Momentum’s musicians are absolutely not afraid to experiment and I praise them for that, because it is entirely of benefit to them. They navigate in the dark and shadows, through the waves pushing hard against their musical ship, but thanks to their wisdom and prudence, they always manage to reach the port safely.
The Icelanders have created a piece of powerful, atmospheric music with an ambience all its own and definitely something more than just ordinary metal pounding. Once again, the guys have confirmed that they are in possession of a remarkable composing, arranging and performing talent. Momentum are a guarantor of musical versatility and have a great, full sound. I sincerely recommend the band because it’s worth taking a few moments to listen to these fascinating sounds.
1. Bury the Eyes Once Gold
2. Between Two Worlds
3. Familiar Unknown
5. The Freak is Alive
6. A Beast is Near
7. Creator of Malignant Metaphors
8. Undercover Imagination
9. Depth of the Whole