Katarzyna NINa Górnisiewicz
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Carved In Ashes - Lupus Homini (song review) |self-released, The Drowned Silhuette, 2012|
Carved In Ashes is a Finnish band from Helsinki formed in 2009. Their musical style can be described as progressive rock or art-rock. So far they've released two EPs - Neversary
(2010) and Drowned Silhouette
The phrase, homo homini lupus
comes from the Latin, meaning 'the worst enemy of a human can be another human'. The above is proven when considering political, economic and religious wars observed across the ages, but is also noticeable yet no less harmful on a daily basis. These issues commonly come out of jealousy, greed and competition amongst both individuals and groups of people.
The song title, "Lupus Homini" is a neologism build upon a reference to the above phrase. The track was released on Drowned Silhouette
EP and lasts over 8 minutes, an average Progressive track length. The composition not only carries moods originating from Progressive music but also from Gothic and Metal. The reason may be that Carved In Ashes has been influenced by the work of bands such as Katatonia, Riverside, Tool and Anathema. You may also spot references to Porcupine Tree and Steven Wilson's music - harmonious yet unpredictable arrangements, enchanting atmospheres but also intensity which grows around the time of bridges and endings.
This intriguing composition doesn't lack contrast however. Groovy bass lines performed by Jaakko Kuusisto along with non-intrusive, well thought drum beats by Lauri Kuussalo stand as the song’s core structure and plays the main role in this composition. Yet they are at times replaced with airy lead riffs and rhythmic background chords brought by guitarist duo, Kimmo Kokki and Tomi Issakainen. This method allows for achieving a dynamic range in which tempo, melody and moods vary but don't interfere with the song structure. It should be also mentioned that keyboard player, Jani Lehtinen put a lot of magic into "Lupus Homini". High-pitched notes sound as freezing as if played on icicles (which were utilized in many 70's jazz tracks) but there are also cold wavy passages within the arrangements.
"Lupus Homini" sounds almost like an instrumental track since the vocal parts have been reduced to a necessary minimum. Juanma Draven both speaks the lyrics and sings them. When he operates at higher notes, his voice recalls Rush's Geddy Lee at times. On the other hand he can also scream, although this adds a dramatic tension to the track rather than making a powerful metal growl.
The song is atmospheric and melodic enough to make you like it after the first listening. At the same time, it was not written with the typical verse and chorus structure. It's an ambitious composition with plenty of layers, perfect for listeners who prefer complexity over monotony.
(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, February 24th, 2013. Proofreading: SanDeE)
Buy on: Amazon