Starboard – Abaia

Following pre-established forms of thought, when approaching a Finnish band at its debut, defined as the authors of funeral doom, it would be legitimate to expect a re-proposition of the sounds that were born and developed there. In reality, Starboard offer something that has a lot to do with funeral doom, only it is heavily contaminated by jazz, giving a very peculiar but also alienating result. The fact that in the most leaden moments, with a lot of growl, wind instruments weave the melodic lines would be an anomaly in itself but not a novelty in absolute, but ours suddenly turn into an elegant jazz trio completely out of any scheme having to do with metal. Abaia is an unpredictable work, even too much in some moments, but even if it’s not without faults it deserves a chance by those who want to try to listen to something really different from the usual. Unfortunately, a whiny clean vocal drowns out some passages, but in the course of these three long tracks (plus interlude) that add up to fifty minutes, there are many reasons to be interested, even if it’s not easy to keep the attention alive. At times it sounds like Gentle Giant in a doom version, but there is no doubt that the trio, in the recording studio, let all their impulses run free without setting themselves any limits. As a result, passages of remarkable beauty and depth overlap with moments that are, to say the least, cerebral, and all this attracts irresistibly only to repel the next moment. It could be a genius to be handed down to posterity as well as well as a calamitous flop and, frankly, I don’t know which option to go for, although the impression is that after several passages the work manages to creep up on the reader. For those who want to know more, the bandcamp link below can provide some answers.

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