Iceland has come to be known as the source for some of the weirdest
yet beautiful music in the last decade or so, with rise of many notable acts
from the country. Add Momentum to that list, whose music is bizarre, haunting
and also extremely intriguing.
“The Freak is Alive” is the first I have heard of the band,
so I had to check into the past, only to discover their old days of cult black
and death metal! This came as quite a bit of a surprise, as their new album
shows no traces of the same, with progressive sludge doom music flowing through
for its entire run time of 48 minutes.
The album just starts off and goes on with some quality doom
music, yet never feeling slow or depressing. The album rides through heavier sections,
perfectly interlaced with slow progg-ier parts without a hitch. Moreover, the
use of sitar, keys and violin at points in the album adds to the overall charisma
and brings in the Icelandic vibe into the music.
“Gauntet” stands out, starting with some classic sludge
riffs before slowing down midway as some top notch progressive music takes its
place. This continues into the title track “The Freak is Alive” as it starts
with some amazingly unusual and somber guitar melodies, before picking up pace and
going into distorted sludgy riffs. The easy transitions, make them sound as one
larger sounding unit, an amalgamation of doom and prog, bringing the best out
of the album.
High praise must be given to the production on this record,
the album sounds extremely clean and each instrument stands out. The drum work
comes off as the best, just beating along the track, never taking the forefront,
yet cutting through the sound mix perfectly to the listener.
My only complaint with this album, is the vocals on it. Although
the death growls and chorus are belted out with perfection, the major part of
the clean sections sound a bit too laid back and monotonous. This sometimes, manages
to break the momentum of the album (pun intended).
Nevertheless, Momentum have released a very strong album in
form of “The Freak is Alive”. The album may not hit off with the listener on the
go, as more of its finer details come to light with every other spin. Overall, a nice amalgamation of doom and prog metal, that
should please fans of both the genre alike. The Freak in Momentum is truly alive!