This comes late, due to various reasons. It is the poignant swansong of one of the most original bands to come out of Portugal, a singular outfit that has called it quits in the present year. According to a band member, the main reason was that they successfully achieved all that they had set out to in their prolific career. In retrospect, hearing their works from the early stuff (very well written and catchy death/doom of Melegina and SchizoLevel) to the transitional nature of InsominousNightLift and finally the two masterworks of gothic/folk/doom metal that are Turbulence and Zoom Code (especially the latter which can easily be considered one of the best albums of the last decade), shows how right his comment was. I wish more bands knew when to call it quits, instead of dragging their legacy through dirt.
As a closing chapter, this works surprisingly well, being reinterpretations of past songs. While it is not a purely acoustic release, the focus is on acoustic instruments, clean sounds and electronic touches (alongside the ever present ethnic influence that always set this band apart). This drastic change in sound is reflected by the beautifully minimal and elegant cover art as well. It is also reflected in the complete lack of growls and increased emphasis on Patricia Rodrigues’s wonderful voice whose career with the band has seen her find her own unique style. They are complimented by the occasional male vocals, creating a variety of moods with the unique instrumentation.
It is telling that there are four songs from the massive Zoom Code, and almost none from the earlier more traditional doom/death era, as it is obvious that the ambitious latter day compositions lend themselves well to such unique interpretations. But it would be unfair to compare and contrast. Origami must be judged on its own merits.
From the opening breath of the short introduction “InExistence”, it is clear that the introspective and personal nature of the band’s music benefits from the less cluttered sound. “(Un)bearable Certainty” shows a mature sound, centered on acoustic elements, with a lush full sonic palette. Patricia completely avoids the cliches of female fronted goth metal completely, just by being herself. By “Nightmares Within” it is clear that this is closer to progressive folk rock than any form of metal. The feel is wonderfully enhanced by what sounds like xylophones. The electronic elements are used very subtly and sparingly, never crowding out the nice natural timbers. “Pervasive Healing” spices things up with a Mediterranean feel, but manages to be heart wrenching at the same time. The album has a mood that manages to be sad without being melodramatic or gothic, standing on the strength of songwriting. “RAWoid” recalls the gypsy like atmosphere of their past albums, with a driving mid-paced introduction with well-placed ethnic instrumentation. Its intense and exhilarating, and shift in rhythms when the vocals kick in adds to the dizziness. “Sublime Loss” has very nice Floyd-ish electronic break in the middle that leads to a great solo. I could go on and on, but I’m sure my opinion about this album and band has been made abundantly clear. Its the kind of CD that you put on and forget, and can work in many different situations ( alone or in a social setting, being morose or making love, being happy or sad etc).
All in all, its a win of originality over mediocrity (the disease of most rock and metal oriented music). I hope the band members come up with new musical projects, and not deny us all their talent.
01 – InExistence
02 – (Un)bearable Certainty
03 – Nightmares Within
04 – Pervasive Healing
05 – RAWoid
06 – Sublime Loss
07 – Dance Of The Tender Leaves
08 – Sweet Suicidal Serenade
09 – The Journey’s Shiver
10 – Hereafter Path
11 – Last Of The Few
12 – Pale Blue Perishes