Described on their official band page as ‘Hybrid Metal’, Finland’s Creinium straddles mostly between the grandiose elements of Symphonic Black Metal and Melodic Death. The chords and the tone of the riffs are very much rooted in Black Metal, however the technical time signatures, complex arpeggios and Eeli Helin’s vocal style lean towards Melodic Death. Executed properly, it’s a cross-over that blends incredibly well and in Creinium’s case they’ve done an excellent job. In addition to these key genres, there are other influences to be heard within their music.
Before getting into the review itself, it’s worth pointing out that unfortunately, all but one of the musicians featured on the album are no longer members of Creinium – full details can be found on their official site. However, despite these setbacks, what has been produced for the album is remarkable and if the replacements so far are anything to go by, including the recent recruitment of Mika Tönning (ex-Catamenia & Dawn of Relic) on vocals, the next incarnation of Creinium will surely be something to get excited about.
The album begins with the horror-esque introduction of title track ‘Hallucinosis’, which has a haunting yet cinematic feel, with the rich synth textures creating a similar vibe to Cradle of Filth’s interludes during the ‘Midian’ era.
There are a number of highlight tracks on this album, beginning with ‘Astral Strain’. The vocals, guitars and synths share precise rhythmic timing, producing vitriolic impact as each word roars with blazing intensity.
‘The Ophidian Heir’ sets itself apart by starting off at a much slower pace. During this period of the song, the guitars and vocals roar through in an almost agonising fashion and when the tempo picks up, the instruments are played at blistering speed. The striking contrast between the slow, Doom-laden sections and up-tempo parts adds so much depth and creates a divisive, emotional ebb and flow throughout.
‘Passage To An Altered Portrait’ has a Blackened tone, with its dark, ethereal piano and tinkling synth passages. Whilst there is a vocal section midway through, the majority of this track is instrumental. The addition of a soaring guitar solo in the final third is incredibly majestic, changing the overall tone of the song towards its close.
Melodically, ‘Solarbound Colony’ stands out for its moments of technical complexity mixed with dramatic, almost film-score like phrasing. Filled with guitar and synth arpeggios and ascending scales, the song is very uplifting, yet maintains it’s dark, extreme undertones throughout.
Finally, changing the tone once again, the second half of ‘God Monument’ verges on Funeral Doom, with each instrument playing in perfect unison to form a huge, harmonious wall of sound. It’s dark, it’s dramatic and it’s epic, providing an unforgettable and wholly satisfying end to the album.
Since Creinium’s founding member and main song-writer Aleksi Holma has such a diverse taste in Metal, it’s no surprise that the general style presented within ‘Hallucinosis’ is likewise rather varied, although it doesn’t feel disjointed or directionless. On the contrary, it has been thoughtfully constructed to meld many of these influences together, producing a trademark hybrid sound, yet the album features distinct, familiar stylistic elements that will please fans of those respective genres. It would seem that, since the exodus of most of the band after the completion of this album, Aleksi is very keen to recruit new members who share a diverse, open-minded approach to the music, as is evident on Mika and Matti’s respective biographies.
Whilst this album may not appeal to purists, those who have an eclectic taste and appreciate artists expressing creative diversity within their music should listen to this album. I thoroughly recommend checking this out and will be looking forward to what’s in store upon completion of their fresh line-up.
New Post-Release Line-up (Left to Right):
Mika Tönning (Vocals) – Aleksi Holma (Drums) – Matti Siekkinen (Bass & Backing Vocals)
Video – Hallucinosis (Album Synopsis)
Video – ‘Prometheus Through Immolation’