[Review] Konom – Konom

Konom is a Progressive Rock band with an Heavy touch from Manchester, UK born from the ashes of the instrumental band Ascent that released an EP before they added a singer to the lineup and released a full-lenght in 2015. After some lineup changes also the band name changed in Konom and begin to forge their personal sound, a mix between Rock and Metal with a marked Progressive touch, a modern and fresh interpretation with influences from the ’70s. Their self-released debut album titled “Konom” published on February 26, 2021 contain 3 long tracks and an epic suite divided into 5 acts, available on CD and Digital with a beautiful artwork cover. The album opens with a long track of over 10 minutes entitled “A Welcome Change” which begins with a background of atmospheric noises and then gives life to the main theme. Massive guitar riffs and a solid rhythm session with purely Prog Rock sounds and a vocal with personal characters. The intensity increases with the passing of the minutes, as well as the tempo changes embellish the song, while the vocal evolutions are another strong point of their sound. A modern and personal interpretation of those elaborate sounds that characterize the genre, with forays into Heavy, but with a strong Progressive connotation. An engaging and high-impact track, which immediately shows the remarkable compositional technique and a flawless execution, immediately catapulting us with pleasure into that sound world so dear to us. Follows “Birotunda” characterized by a choral intro on a carpet of acoustic guitar and keyboards, giving life to a dreamy atmosphere, which soon returns to the Heavy sounds of the band. The mixture between keyboards and guitars denotes a complicity between the instruments of exquisite workmanship, while the singing offers another proof of character with an original and very personal vocal imprinting. Here too the tempo changes that play on sudden accelerations and softer openings take the sound to another level, while the guitar and keyboards offer well-executed intertwined solos. The individual technique at the service of the group also shows some virtuous traits but never an end in itself, another impactful piece that keeps the sound at a high level, enhancing composition and execution. The third track “As the Waters Rise” exceeds 9 minutes, and begins with drum rolls and guitar riffs and then opens up developing a theme close to the 70s sounds of Prog. The orchestral keyboard mats certainly give an extra touch to the song, which alternates dark and heavy passages with more harmonious openings, highlighting the more Metallic side of the band. The ease with which the band switches from one style to another makes the song very enjoyable, unpredictable and smooth. The vocal is well suited to the song, with a very passionate and refined interpretation, while the real protagonists are the intertwining between the keyboards and the guitar. Elaborate but at the same time with passages that remain in mind that entice you to hum them, while the solo parts add quality. We have arrived at the backing column of the disc, a long suite of over 20 minutes divided into 5 acts, the first of which is “The Great Harvest: I. Epiphany.” An acoustic and piano guitar arpeggio that soon turns into an elaborate Prog Metal song that shows the heavier and darker side of the band’s sound. However, alternating more melodic and soft openings, always very well elaborated and full of tempo changes, even the rhythmic session guides the various passages to perfection. The guitar here is the great protagonist and guides us towards the second part “The Great Harvest: II. Dilate My World” where in the initial part the calm returns with orchestrations in the background and a piano on which a very warm and expressive vocal is inserted. More Rock in this passage, but always with strong Progressive connotations, with a musical crescendo that manifests itself both in the vocal and in the music. Developing a track by touching and mixing multiple styles with ease is a virtue and the band proves to be at ease in passing from more symphonic moments to other powerful and heavy, also inserting solo passages of fine workmanship. The shorter section of this epic track “The Great Harvest: III. Mutating Light” that kicks off loud with an accelerated rhythm session and powerful guitar riffs, while becoming more intricate with vocal input. Despite its short duration, it is a concentrate of symphonies and power at the service of the listener who will surely be struck by the pleasantness of the passages and how they were linked to each other. So we come to the longest part of the suite “The Great Harvest: IV. Reflections” which connects to the previous one with a deep and captivating bassline and drum. The vocal enters and gives that touch of pathos that embellishes the whole, the more I listen to it and I realize how much research there is behind this work, and how precise and well studied the sung parts are. With the increase in intensity, the band lets itself go to sound halfway between Deep Purple and modern Prog Metal, in the best sense of the term, as the band has its own well-defined personal characteristics. In the second part of the track there is room for a foray into Metal and a delightful instrumental section that cuts across multiple genres, where they perform in solos intertwined between fine guitar and keyboards. The album closes the last part of the suite “The Great Harvest: V. Heedless Breath” which connects with a massive riff to the previous one, continuing the instrumental musical discourse while maintaining high intensity. Here, too, the mix between keyboards and guitar mixes the classic with the modern, with a pulled guitar solo that is followed by a keyboard solo. The melodies are positive and the tempo changes continue, while returning to the main theme of the suite the vocal enters and the sound takes on the connotations of a ‘grand finale.’ The track and the album end with an intense section and then close with a piano arpeggio on an orchestral background. A very impactful debut, where the band showcased many well developed and executed ideas, passing from one style to another with ease. The quality permeates this work, remaining constant throughout the duration, where the sound intertwining created by the complicity between guitar and keyboards, a solid rhythmic session and a vocal with very personal characters work very well. The malgamation that is created by the fusion of several elements, genres and styles is winning, giving life to a record that combines the influences of the past and the modern with a distinctive personal character worthy of note. Lovers of more Heavy Progressive sounds will certainly be impressed positively, but I am convinced that as heard here they will also be able to hit listeners of various types, both in the Prog and Metal fields. As they say ‘good the first,’ it will be very interesting to see the developments of this band that has certainly impressed me positively and that it will be equally interesting to listen live, technique and ideas are not lacking.

Tracklist

01.A Welcome Change10:35
02. Birotunda7:20
03.As the Waters Rise9:34
04.The Great Harvest: I. Epiphany3:54
05.The Great Harvest: II. Dilate My World5:41
06.The Great Harvest: III. Mutating Light2:40
07.The Great Harvest: IV. Reflections6:50
08.The Great Harvest: V. Heedless Breath5:24

Lineup

Arya BobaieLead Vocals
Benjamin EdwardsBass Guitar
Tom RiceDrums
Dan WhiteGuitars & Backing Vocals
Jonathan WorsleyKeyboards & Orchestration

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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