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'Iconoclastic'. I like that word. I always have. But I guess my creative proclivities and tastes have always veered more towards a genuinely progressive aesthetic. That's what generally excites me in music and in all other areas of the arts. That is, something different. Those who dare to push the boundaries of established modes of expression. Sonic iconoclasts, if you will. However, generally speaking, Finnish metal crew Medeia are not iconoclastic with their music. Sure, it's always been characterised by progressively technical flavours although they're certainly not sonic iconoclasts - I would reserve such a label for the likes of Solefald; Ephel Duath; Unexpect; Sleepytime Gorilla Museum; The Agonist; Subterranean Masquerade... to name but a few. So I'm guessing it's fair to assume that 'Iconoclast' is more indicative of a particular lyrical theme than a self-statement of stylistic intent. While not immediately clichéd in any way, Medeia's metal dynamic borrows more from the tried and tested. Take the opening title track as an example, which throws in a whole array of stylistic substance from the textbook of metal techniques, such as guitar trills, harmonics, sweep picking and palm muted riffage, and within the context of mid and down tempo song passages. However, it's the juxtaposition of this track's symphonic doomier moments against more up tempo passages where lush keys and heavy chords combine perfectly, and where this opening number works at its affective best. To be honest, this is true of the album in its entirety and, indubitably, it's Laura Dziadulewicz's cleverly interwoven piano and synth sounds that helps elevate Medeia's music above more generic stylings. Her clean backing vocals are also a refreshing interjection amidst the plethora of Keijo Niinimaa's growls which are, quite often within the songs, one dimensional. All in all though, Medeia's fourth full length release is an intriguing enough listen, and pushes the parameters of death just enough to hold my interest and return for repeated listens. 'Iconoclastic' is not too bad at all but just don't expect anything overtly iconoclastic.
Fullsteam Records
Review by Mark Holmes
28th Oct 2013
1) Iconoclastic
2) A Waste of Skin
3) Sleep
4) Dethroned
5) The Dominant Species
6) Prophecy
7) Loyalty Kills
8) Misery Prevails
9) Reverence
10) Redefining Hell
"'Iconoclastic' is not too bad at all but just don't expect anything overtly iconoclastic."