|Review: Timo Komulainen - Biographical|
Year released: 2013
Genre: Progressive Metal
Review online: January 3, 2014
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Rated 2.2/5 (44%) (5 Votes)
Finnish guitarist/singer Timo Komulainen has released three albums in his career, all under different names. The first two were released under "band" names, i.e. Viral, unlike his latest, 2013's Biographical. In keeping with the personal connotation of the title, this album has been released under Komulainen's own name. As in the past, most (if not all) of the music on Biographical was written and performed by Komulainen. After reading the biography on his website, it is pretty clear things haven't exactly gone as well as the aspiring Finn had hoped with none of his previous albums nor his novel (he's also an author) generating much interest. I don't see that trend reversing much with Biographical.
Progressive Metal is how this album is billed though I hear more Progressive Rock. The keyboards on "Begin" sound like those on Rush's 2112 while the jazz-influenced songwriting of "Explore" had me thinking of Emerson, Lake and Palmer. In addition to clear singing, Komulainen works with a Death growl frequently, leading to one of the strangest songs I've ever heard; "Avert" starts out like a Death Metal version of The Beatles "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite" before settling in to more tradition Metal groove. The album closer, "Love," reminds me of The Moody Blues' Days of Future Past. I've compared the music on Biographical to some big names but there's one glaring difference; the songwriting. It is dull, unfocused and just plain uninteresting. I'm sure this sounded great to Komulainen when he recorded it but there is just nothing for anyone who didn't create it to latch on to. It's like Komulainen spent so much energy on the lyrics, he completely forgot to write "songs" and just threw samples together and hoped for the best. The playing is adequate but the production is sterile and dry, further hindering any enjoyment a listener might get from Biographical.
I don't actively hate Biographical, except maybe the beginning of "Avert," but it offers so little in the way of replay value, I can't honestly recommend it, not even to the staunchest of Progressive Metal fans.
Album preview: https://soundcloud.com/timokomulainen/sets/biographical
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