Genre: Progressive Doom Metal
Country: Iceland
Label: Dark Essence Records
Year: 2015

My foray with Momentum revealed to me one hell of an album that escaped my notice. No, sadly, this isn’t “The Freak Is Alive”, but its predecessor “Fixation, At Rest”. This does not suggest that the record reviewed here is mediocre. Simply, the band in its debut full-length had put in the right portions the many influences and had better effusion in terms of composing. Here, nonetheless, we are going to share some thoughts on the new album.

Let’s begin with a few words about the band. Momentum come from Iceland, a country that “defrosted” in the last years and made a noticeable appearance in the metal scene with bands such as Solstafir, Skalmold, Kontinuum, Arstidir Lifsins and more. The band’s early death metal sound transformed into a progressive death metal one in the album “Fixation, At Rest”.

Well, “The Freak Is Alive” is a mixture of progressive music with many post metal hints and a few doom/death parts. Their sound is flawless, so, let’s move on. The vocals are mostly melodic, while at times they produce a gothic, bass tone with recital form and the harsh ones are evident rarely. Their singer, Holaf, despite not being gifted with distinguishing vocal abilities, he has found a way to make the best out of his voice, being accurate and avoiding any transcendence in his singing that might expose this weakness of his. The guitars built their themes with absolute accuracy. The structure is pluralistic, though not overcomplicated. The rhythm section is impressively efficient.

The songwriting is practically the main problem with the album. The band has made its absolute priority the atmospheric and melodic elements in its music. One might think that I am displeased due to the cutting short of the death parts. It’s true, but only because I find that the result does not justify this decision. It’s not a walk in the park, developing an atmospheric progressive album that will hook the listener from start to finish and make him flood in emotions. From the moment I caught myself drumming my fingers nervously (several times from the third song “Familiar Unknown” and forth) and praying that something exciting happens immediately, I knew that Momentum failed to win this round.

Everything seems calculated, thoroughly played and without inspiration and intensity, at least that’s how I interpret “The Freak Is Alive”. I believe, however, that I must give credit to the band for the obvious big amount of work dedicated in the making of this Lp and their individual talent as musicians, even though “The Freak Is Alive” failed my expectations.