Numen Review

Joey Dumont bio photo By Joey Dumont Comment

I mentioned in my last post1 that I was eagerly waiting for the next Alkaloid album, and that To Where the Light Retreats was a good way to pass the time, but I am no longer waiting. Numen came out in September 2023, and while it is not everything I had hoped for, it still gave me the motivation to write on this blog again. After the break, put on your space suit, we’re going on yet another cosmic horror mission.

Numen is pretty much what you would expect out of Grossmann, Morean, Münzner, and Klausenitzer: highly technical compositions that you can somehow grasp on the first listen, and deepen your appreciate for over time. The atmosphere is very similar to their earlier albums, The Malkuth Grimoire and Liquid Anatomy, with riffs straight lifted straight out of Dyson Sphere, and will feel familiar to fans.

This is my main issue with the album, as it feels like the theme, and especially the lyrics, are starting to feel stale. I do enjoy Cthulu-esque monsters of the dark, squids, and unspeakable horrors hiding the eternal darkness of the cosmos, but I can already listen to The Malkuth Grimoire anytime. The Cambrian Explosion, which is a very fun track and packed to the brim with demonstrations of skill from all performers, seems like a retelling of Liquid Anatomy’s Rise of the Cephalopods, but with late Ayreon level of cheesy lyrics. Specifically, I want to call out

In the muck
Things start to fuck

which at least one reviewer seemed to like, but I just can’t get over.

Speaking of that particular review, I must say I disagree with their assessment of the titular song, Numen. While it exhibits the same issues of lifting a lot of content from The Malkuth Grimoire and rehashing the same story and themes, it is insanely catchy. It has the right mix of clean and harsh vocals, and right amount of tension and release. I particularly like the transition between Numen and Recursion. It feels almost like Super Mario 64’s endless staircase, but unfortunately no Shepard tone was used.

In short, this is definitely an album that will stay on list of go-tos, like Alkaloid’s two other albums. I wish the band finds new sources of inspiration for their writing, both musical and lyrical, and that they can find a way to renew their themes. And now begins the long wait for the fourth Alkaloid album :)

  1. From two years ago, I am fully aware of the spatio-temporal gap. 

comments powered by Disqus