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(48:07; Mylodon Records)
According to the great god which is Google, “Cyclothymia -- or cyclothymic disorder -- is a relatively mild mood disorder. In cyclothymic disorder, moods swing between short periods of mild depression and hypomania, an elevated mood. The low and high mood swings never reach the severity or duration of major depressive or full mania episodes. People with cyclothymic disorder have milder symptoms than occur in full-blown bipolar disorder.” Numen state this isn’t a concept album as such, although it does explore moods which may become a burden and torment. Numen released their debut ‘Samsara’ as long ago as 1998, but were dormant for a long period, getting back together when discussions were held the fifteenth anniversary of that release, and this is the second since then, following on from 2014’s ‘Numenclature’. The musicians on the album are Cesar Alcaraz (vocals), Marcos Bevia (guitar), Manuel Mas (keyboards), Victor Arques (bass) and Gaspar Martinez (drums), but this was the first album to feature Bevia, who replaced Antonio Valiente, and I note according to the website he is no longer in the band and neither is Alcaraz. However, they are continuing as a trio with additional musicians. It will certainly be interesting to see what happens here on in, as the vocals are a key part of this neo progressive/ crossover unit. The album is very songs based, with little real room for the band to spread their wings musically, and there are times when they could add some freshness and life into the music as can become a little cloying and almost suffocating. They have been heavily influenced by later period Marillion, which isn’t exactly a high point in my opinion, yet also bring in elements of Pink Floyd which manage to rescue it somewhat. There are times when the band seem to be struggling, and instead of creating a moment of reflection it is almost as if the band don’t know how to move to the next stage. Solid and interesting without ever being indispensable, this is a melodic album which is well-produced and played but never really moves into top gear.
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