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8/10 Chaim

CREINIUM - Project Utopia - CD - Inverse Records - 2014

Basically, if you love metal, this is for you. If you love melodic death metal done right - this is definitely for you. Creinium's first release backed by a serious label is an excellent mini-album for all intents and purposes.

Why is it such a good recording? Because Creinium do everything right here: the dystopian and futuristic intro, the familiar yet engaging riffs, the not-too-overpowering, quite smooth and complementing keyboards; the vocals demonstrate both harsh and lighter shouting techniques, and are in balance with the instruments and in harmony with the melodies, always robust and penetrating, never comical, never goofy. All that - sculpted and meshed by crafty, creative hands - has resulted in a recording that is everything a heavy metal aficionado looks for: exciting songs, dark atmosphere and being able to easily relate to the music.

Creinium's Project Utopia delivers on all counts. They carefully coalesce bestial aggression with infinite finesse, one minute pummeling and a minute later taking you on a journey to the stars. In addition, given the fact this album reeks with the stench of the collapse of humanity, the album should have been named Project Dystopia; that would have been much more befitting a title in light of the cold and hopeless atmosphere the music emanates.

Now, this young Finnish band know how to write songs. In addition to establishing themselves in a style of metal that is nothing but magical - a blend of death, black and heavy metal with a hint of 1970s-inspired progressiveness and a touch of neoclassicism - Creinium owns copious amounts of the know-how of how to manipulate all those elements and inspirational tools, and harnesses that knowledge into a beautiful creation of aggression, melody and mystery, with a shroud of despair and dismay.

Project Utopia is as fun listening as it is eclectic and intelligent. The tracks are extremely user-friendly, not because they are mellow or mainstream-ish, but because they were so well written that they all sound extremely harmonious and very pleasant for the ear, even of the most habitual listener out there.

There isn't much more to say about this intricate (and exquisite) release other than it being one of the best embodiments of melodic black/death metal of current time, and as such should be experienced thoroughly by most of you, lovers of good, high-quality metal with an added value. They don't make many albums like that nowadays. (8/10)


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