Minutian is a Finnish band from Helsinki. They don't play pure prog rock or prog metal, but a very rhythmic kind of rock with progressive rock structures. With the sound of the unconventional rhythm patterns they distinguish themselves from other bands and therefore they stand out in the world of progressive music. The initiator of the band is drummer and percussionist Antti Ruokola. Since 2010, vocalist Mikko Heino, bass player Jouni Mikkola and the two guitarists Jaako Jernberg and Jesper Johnson complete the line-up. It took about a year to record the debut album Repercussions. Most of the songs were recorded during several studio sessions in a number of studios in and around Helsinki. Musically the band members have been influenced by progressive crossover bands like Tool, Oceansize and King Crimson.
When you press the play button, the first notes of Hole give you an impression of some Crimson-ic percussive patterns combined with a Tool-ish bass guitar. The guitars sound nice and heavy, with some cool Tool influences as well, although the drums attract the most attention. Vocalist Mikko Heino is a good singer, but when I listened to the instrumental opening, I had a different voice in mind. Heino has a great voice for metal, but I didn't expect such a voice in this song. During the following piece In Circles he sings more melodic. I personally like that better than his high-pitched screaming vocals. At the end of the song the heavy guitars transform into an almost mellow part. This is a great combination especially with the percussive parts in the background. Cold And Tight is a metal song with a few softer vocal parts which I like very much. The peculiar drum passages are always present, but never dominating filling the gaps between the guitars and the bass. Give In has more of a soundscape than a song with its soft percussion, gentle guitars and a slightly distorted voice. It gives you the impression of a cinematic composition. An intriguing guitar melody keeps you focused during the song.
Undone contains much more progressive rock than the previous songs with melodic guitars and a singer who sings a bit over the top. Towards the end other influences like alternative rock and metal take over, but the cool guitar sound remains. With more than eight minutes Isolation is the album's epic. It builds up from a very Tool-ish guitar sound and a nice and relaxed vocal part to a powerful section, which gradually slows down again to the same intensity of the first part. Three By Five is the final piece that starts slowly, but changes into a song that contains the heaviest parts of the album: powerful drumming, perfect guitar and drum passages, and moods superbly changing from melodic to aggressive. I like this instrumental song the best.
For a debut album I think Minutian did a great job, the percussive parts really give the album something special. Musically there are numerous parts that are heavily influenced by Tool, but still imbedded in their own music. When the vocals are relaxed they suit the music perfectly, but when the 'metal' voice takes over Minutian starts to sound like an average metal band. I know these guys will grow; they just have the potential and the musicality to stand out.
***+ Pedro Bekkers (edited by Peter Willemsen)
Where to buy?
All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2013