Status Minor - Ouroboros (Lion Music)

Rating: ???

Review

Excellently played progressive metal.

Status Minor is a Finnish progressive metal band and this is their second release so far. The debut album ‘Dialog’ came out in 2009 and for me the songs on it were heavier and darker than the ones we find on ‘Ouroboros’ though they did have their moments. Yet in no way did they indicate what was to come next.

With this new CD the five members of Status Minor have recorded an album of intelligent, intricately arranged and superbly played set of songs that will make the fans of this wonderful musical genre sit up and take notice. The album itself is a concept about the cycle of love, how you fall in love, go through the trials and tribulations of those glorious feelings, and then how you can fall out of love with your emotions going from ecstasy to despair so easily, and then how being human you start the process all over again. As you can imagine, with such a complex subject the music must be of equal complexity, yet still have enough melody and emotion to enthrall the listener.

That Status Minor do this with ease is testament to the band as a whole and the way they have gone about writing and recording this engaging album. The clever use of a singer Anna Murphy (Eluveitie) as the love interest also pays dividends because it gives vocalist Markku Kuikka someone to play off as they sing together and this breathes life, energy and emotion into the songs that you find on ‘Ouroboros’.

As this is a concept album and a lot of the tracks flow into one another singling out separate songs isn’t easy but I’ll mention a couple you should look out for. Opener ‘The Wind’ has the complex guitar and keyboard interplay that I love, they fence with one another neither one gaining the upper hand but each finding a glorious middle ground that the listener can totally enjoy. ‘Glass Wall’ has hard rock like riff that intertwines with the progressive metal guitar work of Sami Saarinen who subtly weaves his magic just under the surface of the main song. The beautiful ballad ‘Like A Dream’ where the two singers Markku and Anna tell of their love and how it feels like a dream and could be gone by tomorrow, is enchanting to listen to. The song washes over you and as you listen to the lyrics and you also begin to remember loves found and lost. Finally I’d like to tell you about the epic ‘Sail Away’, ten minutes of progressive metal greatness. The arrangements are tightly structured yet also lush and extremely emotive, the musicianship is strong and the vocals from both protagonists impassioned in summation this song is superb.

Status Minor should with ‘Ouroboros’ be on the lips of all who love excellently played progressive metal, with this new album they show the rest just how it’s done.

Ian Johnson