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Simulacrum: Genesis
Simulacrum - Genesis Album Art

Simulacrum: Genesis

Progressive Metal

Simulacrum: a representation or imitation of a person or thing; an unsatisfactory imitation or substitute. Simulacrum is also a Finnish metal band, and a rather large one at with seven members including two vocalists and two guitarists. Formed two decades ago, Simulacrum has dropped two previous studio albums, 2012's The Master And The Simulacrum and 2015's Sky Divided. Now, after a six year hiatus and various personnel changes, Simulacrum returns with their latest and third recording Genesis.

Simulacrum  - Click For Larger Image


The simple musical context for Simulacrum is progressive metal with obvious orchestration and power metal strength. Delving a bit deeper, musicianship is at a premium with notable individual contributions from keyboard player Christian Pulkkinen, guitarist Nicholas Pulkkinen, and bass player Olli Hakala with his Chapman stick and electric upright.

Genesis is also the tale of two albums with the first five songs individual compositions and the latter four songs part of the Genesis concept. To the former, with one exception, the songs are largely progressive power metal songs which are dense, fast, and heavy with moments of those significant individual musical contributions, especially in the bass lines of Nothing Remains and Traumatized. Notable in the latter song is the thrilling bass breakdown, or likely Chapman stick, around the 4'20" mark. The odd song out is Like You, Like Me where you need to listen for the intriguing combination of bass, guitar, and piano in the start and segues between the heaviness.

As for the Genesis suite, all four songs are marked, again, by impressive and versatile individual musical parts in longer more complex arrangements. Additionally, all four songs should be listened to together, quite like a single composition, as each song merges into the next. As for some individual highlights, within The Celestial Architect listen for what sounds very much like a xylophone just before the five minute mark, followed by more tasty bass work. Essentially an instrumental, Evolution of Man starts heavy, but by the latter third the bass line rises to introduce a classical piano. The piano line continues into the following The Human Equation where it's joined by vocals in a symphonic context, and even more piano. It was my favorite part of the suite. Finally, you move into the fourth and final part, End Of Entropy, which is simply a prog metal tour-de-force and climatic conclusion borne by more significant solo performances wrapped in tempo and time signature changes. Listen carefully.

While the whole of Genesis is impressive, I found the Genesis suite to be most compelling and putting Simulacrum on the same level as such prog masters as Dream Theater, Symphony X, Myrath, among others. All in all, Simulacrum's Genesis is a significant and notable accomplishment for the band, an intriguing and entertaining album of sophisticated progressive metal. Recommended. - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

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The Bottom Line

All in all, Simulacrum's Genesis is a significant and notable accomplishment for the band, an intriguing and entertaining album of sophisticated progressive metal. Recommended.

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