Nobelium is the debut album from Brisbane progressive metallers Therein, which was originally released in 2013, but as the band had a “lot” of material from the original sessions, they decided to re-release the record with the addition of new songs.
There’s a heavy start with “Plutus Unblind” hinting at what a kaleidoscopic release Nobelium is, whose twists and turns combine melodic atmospherics with full-on death doom metal. Singer Cameron Whelan (who we interviewed recently) switches from clean vocals to growls by retaining the beauty in his voice. The numbers flows straight into “Introspect,” which takes off on a heavy guitar work, accompanied with oriental and folk motifs.
Nobelium is a quite remarkable record that sounds like all the best bits of contemporary metal and progressive rock are put into blender. It’s hugely varied with musical references all over the place, yet it still hangs together as a coherent whole. There is an awful lot happening on this album, and it takes more than a few listens to take it all in. Pieces take off in unpredictable directions, and there is more than one number that feels as though it contains a whole concept album’s worth of music in eight or nine minutes.
The combination of clean and death metal vocals blended with a masterful sense of dynamics is always going to invite comparisons to Opeth, although the band is light years away from Swedes’ actual sound.
Sometimes prog metal gets a bad name with artists who show off their instrumental chops and overproduced music without having the compositional skills to back them up. On the other side, there are bands that attempt to mix incompatible styles and turn into an incoherent mishmash. Therein from Brisbane luckily don’t fall upon any of these groups. Check them out.