Thursday, June 20, 2013

Farmakon - Robin

2007 was really a good year for metal. Its a shame I wasn't reviewing back then on youtube, else there would've been some really good ones...

But we have to start further back then 2007 to get to our next review. There used to be a chain store called Media Play in the states, and Monroeville, PA happened to have one. While there one summer afternoon in the early 2000's, i perchanced upon the debut album from the band Farmakon. Not knowing much about them, I opted to give it a shot. It was one of those shot in the dark purchases that could've gone both ways, but this one couldn't have gone better. I found a great band with a unique take on prog-death metal with Opeth as one of their principle influences. Their favorite album of all-time as a band? Still Life. Yeah, this couldn't fail.

And it didn't, but nothing was heard from them for a long time, until 2007, when Robin emerged. Press had died down on this band since it'd taken quite a few years between releases, so this one went almost completely unnoticed. I heard about it only because of an ad in a magazine, Metal Maniacs if i remember correctly, which is now no longer in existence. A shame, too, as that magazine was killer. Beat the pants off Revolver, and even the current version of Metal Hammer. Metal mags suck for the most part these days Let's bring back 'zines.

Robin was a curious find that I had to actually download, because finding it in store, or in print in online stores was a challenge, so that's what had to be done. Even today, finding the album can be very challenging if you don't look in the right place. Anyway, this album built on the ideas of their first, and added more dynamics. For one, the rugged clean vocals of songs like "Pearl of My Suffering" were a bit more polished, but still had a charm to them that was undeniable. Their growling and screaming still possessed a certain uniqueness, and their riffs showcased their Opeth-worship easily to even a metal layman.

If you scan around youtube, you can find a few songs by this band, but for the large part, there's nothing, a curious black hole in the musical universe that seems to speak of their limited existence. That's going to change, considering Robin is the next review selection here on 24 Hours of Reviewing. 

I implore you to seek this album out, especially if you deliver high-praise to Opeth. Now its not going to hit you in quite the same way as Opeth does, considering there's more of a focus on the mid to quick tempo Opethian work, but think about it. The lack of press meant that their budget had to be paper thin, and no doubt funded out of their own pockets while working other jobs and such just to try to keep a dream alive, but didn't. Its been 6 years and no follow-up exists to my knowledge, and no plans either. This is a band that deserves some interest, and at least a curious listen. It certainly deserves a review. Yeah, had a CKN review occurred in 2007, the fate would've still been the same, but at least I could've said I tried to bring more awareness to the band while they were still in existence. reviews can only go so far, y'know.

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