One of the most beautiful scenes in recent cinema history, in my opinion, is the opening of Danny Boyle’s Sunshine during which Cliff Curtis’ character sits in a shielded room at the bow of Icarus Two and simply bathes in the glory of the sun, exploring just how much of the sun’s radiation his body can tolerate. It is only the board computer’s warning that prevents him from immersing himself to the point of obliteration.
Lucky for us, Hungary’s Neokhrome have made an album catering to a human’s innate desire to bask in the enlivening rays of sunlight. Some might argue that an ambient electronic soundscape is more suitable for the subject, but I personally feel that Neokhrome’s warm, epic and sometimes wild metal mix helps us to encompass and take into account the sheer fact that, as beautiful as the sun and the gifts of life it has given our planet are: the sun will also perish one day, and blow us, or what will be left of us at that point, back into our (sub)atomic constituents.
A huge pitfall for bands wandering between the borders of black and (melodic) death riffing is the sudden idea that putting a layer of keyboards in the same key will add depth and monumentality to their music. Mainman Gyula however seems to have worked tirelessly on his guitar sound in order to give his riffs and melodies a proper attire that would be able to maintain a colossal atmosphere without having to depend on a barrage of effects. Though you will hear keyboards on this album, they are employed with the same precision and grace needed to make sure a spacecraft doesn’t bounce off a planet when it enters its orbit to eventually land on its surface.
Some of my favourite bits are the speeding riffs and melodies that will make you feel as if you were racing through space like a photon particle. They dominate the first half of PERIHELION and despite some harsher bits, Neokhrome’s music is light, a warm embrace, the journey to and arrival at a place from where you can gaze upon all that is in perfect contentment. This sentiment is particularly powerful during the album’s climax “Closer To The Sun”, an instrumental so uplifting, you havn’t heard the kind since Negura Bunget’s OM.
I have spent a couple of months regularly listening to Perihelion now. It just becomes more immersive with time and doesn’t spoon feed you its best sides unless you make space and time for it. In many regards as well, the album leaves me with a sense that great things await us in the future from Neokhrome as the overall feeling of the album is that of trying to disentangle yourself from the perpetual cycle of acts and mannerisms which keep you from shining the light of your own innate sun into this world.
Label: Self Released/Independent
Avantgenre: Solar Immersion Metal
Official site: http://www.facebook.com/Neokhrome
Review online since: 30.08.2013 / 15:12:06
01 – Aurea
02 – Stellar Outcast
03 – Starborn
04 – Crystallized
05 – Closer To The Sun
06 – Rise Above The Ridge
07 – Cosmic Grave
08 – Through The Surface
09 – Cold Ashes Of Vanished Times