The 63-minute, second album of the Polish quintet is a very encyclopedic one, with cultural references so obscure. The musical landscape created in eight tracks by two guitars and a violin is so dense, and sometimes also so exotic with the addition of a cimbalom. This is insane music, to pull one’s hair, roar and climb the walls on. Eat your heart out, David Cross Band, here’s Indukti!
The title of the album, Idmen, is Greek for (I think) “We Know” and was taken from a lyric from Homer’s Odyssey XII (“The Sirens”). In “Sansara” (a Hinduism concept, referring to the ignorance of one’s true self), Ewa Jablonska’s violin pirouettes over brutal metal attack. “Tusan Homichi Tuvota” (title of a Hopi tale meaning “Field Mouse Goes to War”) features two guests. Marta Maslanka adds cimbalom waves to a guitar/violin duet, whereas Nils Frykdahl of the Sleepytime Gorilla Museum uses throat vocals to tell the story of a field mouse that saved a village from having all their chicken killed by a hawk. All these are sustained by the incredible drumming of Wawrzyniec Dramowicz. Indeed, this graduate of the McGill University in Montreal and former member of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra probably has a predestined last name, bilingually. In “Sunken Bell”, the shortest track on the album, an exotic percussion dances on guitar soundscapes augmented by the trumpet sounds from guest musician Robert Majewski.
“…And Who’s the God Now?!” is the second track of three that includes vocals. It is built on ritual drumming, on which guitarists Maciej Jaskiewicz and Piotr Kocimski, as well as the guest vocalist, Maciej Taff of the Polish heavy metal band Rootwater, add Eastern European and oriental themes, and even a ritual incantation. The furious and syncopated, delirious and anguishing “Indukted” shows the band at its best. It also goes industrial and has a surprising cimbalom coda. Funny also how, when not riffing even more heavily, Andrzej Kaczynski’s bass does “Peter Gunn”. “Aemaet” (Hebrew word for “Truth”, appearing written in smoke in the movie The Golem of 1920) builds mathematic strings of anguish. Violin floats all over, getting support from drums ‘n’ bass in various time signatures, and melts into cimbalom. The anguish dissipates into ambient and now not surprising cimbalom.
This passes into “Nemesis Voices” (Nemesis is the Greek goddess of vengeance but her name is nowadays used to describe one’s worst enemy or complete opposite). Guitar cycles back up the violin’s flight and the lamenting of guest vocalist Michael Luginbuehl of the Swiss prog metal band Prisma. In “Ninth Wave” (a giant wave in seafarers’ tales), acoustic guitar and trumpet depict a ship’s departure from a harbor. The sea is not calm for long, though, as the band plays like they are possessed. A folky middle section restores the quiet at the sea, still not for long. They all go nuts again on their instruments. Violin and seagulls float where the ship wrecks.
The cover artwork by Justyn Parfianowicz includes contemporary cave painting, otherwise known as graffiti. Bricks from that wall seem to float around a scared woman. In a medieval Eastern European legend, a mason has a dream in which he is told that, the only way his construction work will last is to embed his wife within a wall that, otherwise, erected by day, collapses by night; the metaphor: a masterpiece involves personal sacrifice. I don’t even dare to think what the making of Idmen meant for Indukti. I don’t know if this album will get them “Indukted” into any “Hall of Fame” either but some day it may be regarded as a milestone.
This, for me, is a rare review of a prog metal release, so I guess listeners from both the rock and metal categories will enjoy this album.