Rating:
7.5
Timo Komulainen - Biographical
31 August 2013


01. I
02. Begin
03. Explore
04. Avert
05. Self-Actualize
06. Destroy
07. Create
08. Love


Sometimes you feel that you've listened to everything there was to listen to; that you have become able to predict an album's sound just by looking at its cover artwork and track listing; that you can no longer be surprised by anything. But then are those moments in which some artists, such as Timo Komulainen, force you to change your mind.

Biographical is an unusual album. Its creator stated it is an album, which, both lyrically and musically, reflects his life. While writing the lyrical side is quite intuitive, my first question was, how do you translate a human life into music? Basically, this album sounds like an ideal life; peaceful at the beginning and at the end, respectively with "I" and "Love", but full of all the madness of this world in the middle. And when I talk about madness, it literally is. Biographical presents us with a very wide range of tracks; each of them intriguing and unpredictable. But what is exactly the album's sound?

Timo Komulainen mainly belongs into the extreme metal scene. Mixing Opeth like compositions, sick vocals that remind us of Wintersun's mastermind Jari Mäenpää, and sometimes bits of Devin Townsend. Nevertheless, Timo puts his stamp on his own personal style, recognizable all over the album, but never repetitive.

The musical arrangements are fitting to the album's atmosphere and are technical enough, but while chatting with Timo, I asked him who were his session musicians, and he revealed that the only "real" instruments on the album were his own vocals. Everything else, including guitars and solos, was done with synths and samplers. (Korn, please take note: this album is proof that composing enjoyable music electronically is actually possible.)

Despite the fact that this is the first album released officially under the Timo Komulainen moniker, the guy is not a rookie. He already released two albums, Antediluvian Hunger under the name of Viral and Omniavatar's United Earth, unfortunately both unsuccessful, so we ask ourselves, why should Biographical change this trend?

Well, mainly because Biographical is Timo's less extreme work to date, the one which most distances its sound from the original melodic death metal ilk, through the additions of orchestral and atmospheric touches. Or maybe, because this is an effort which, though being ambitious, doesn't fall in the self-glorification of which his first two albums were criticized on. I wouldn't be surprised if Biographical turns out being the album that establishes Timo Komulainen as a progressive metal reality. Time will tell.


Band profile: Timo Komulainen
Album: Biographical


 



Written on 01.10.2013 by
R Lewis
Hopefully you won't agree with me, diversity of opinions is what makes metal so beautiful and varied.

So... critics and advices absolutely welcome.
More reviews by R Lewis ››



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Marcel Hubregtse - 01.10.2013 at 20:25  
Why is this called an album in the discography when it's actually a demo?
R Lewis - 01.10.2013 at 20:37  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 01.10.2013 at 20:25

Why is this called an album in the discography when it's actually a demo?

Actually I think it's an album. At least that's what the author states

EDIT: these are Timo's words - "By the way, there was someone in the comments who questioned whether Biographical is an album. In my view, it definately is; it was always intended to be one and it was published as one."
psykometal - 01.10.2013 at 23:02  
Who said it was a demo? Everything I read about it while I was setting up the profile said "album", nowhere was it ever referred to as a demo...

Even the infallible MA acknowledges its a full length.
R Lewis - 02.10.2013 at 00:18  
Written by psykometal on 01.10.2013 at 23:02

Who said it was a demo? Everything I read about it while I was setting up the profile said "album", nowhere was it ever referred to as a demo...

Even the infallible MA acknowledges its a full length.

In fact, I asked Timo himself while linking him the review and he answered that's a ful-lenght
Marcel Hubregtse - 02.10.2013 at 00:24  
Well it is self-released so I consider that a demo even though it might be 45 minutes or longer and it is his first release and he is not a well-known artist.
R Lewis - 02.10.2013 at 00:31  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 02.10.2013 at 00:24

Well it is self-released so I consider that a demo even though it might be 45 minutes or longer and it is his first release and he is not a well-known artist.

Timo answered also to this question: "I know there are people who see anything not published by labels as demos, which to me is absurd."
DISCLAIMER: this is the author's opinion, don't shoot the messenger
Merchant of Doom - 02.10.2013 at 01:05  
It's an album...
psykometal - 02.10.2013 at 01:38  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 02.10.2013 at 00:24

Well it is self-released so I consider that a demo even though it might be 45 minutes or longer and it is his first release and he is not a well-known artist.

That is an absurd thought process. Lots of musicians release non-demo material without the aid of a label, or a distributor.
IronAngel - 02.10.2013 at 12:43  
Judging by song titles, the lyrics are incredibly cheesy, generic and abstracted from real experience. Someone who conceptualizes his life in terms like "Self-Actualize", "Destroy" and "Create" can't be a very sincere or skilled writer. Good autobiography needs to be personal.
mz - 02.10.2013 at 13:31  
I have not listened to this album yet. Your review is very well written and I really enjoyed reading it but there was a what the heck moment right here " Timo Komulainen mainly belongs into the extreme metal scene... sick vocals that remind us of Wintersun's mastermind Jari Mäenpää". Well wintersun does not have sick vocals,they might be extreme but not sick.
I hope that I would not sound like a dickheaded asshole.
peace
R Lewis - 02.10.2013 at 16:39  
Written by mz on 02.10.2013 at 13:31

I have not listened to this album yet. Your review is very well written and I really enjoyed reading it but there was a what the heck moment right here " Timo Komulainen mainly belongs into the extreme metal scene... sick vocals that remind us of Wintersun's mastermind Jari Mäenpää". Well wintersun does not have sick vocals,they might be extreme but not sick.
I hope that I would not sound like a dickheaded asshole.
peace

Why should you sound like that? You're right, Jari doesn't absolutely use "sick" vocals, but I wanted to say that if I had to compare someone to Timo's vocals, which usually sound a bit sick, this would be Jari. I know it's a bit confusionary, but in my reasoning this doesn't imply that Jari has a sick voice. They have sometimes a similar timbre, but sure have not the same voices.
I'm not sure if I've explained my point properly. Peace!
R Lewis - 02.10.2013 at 17:52  
Written by IronAngel on 02.10.2013 at 12:43

Judging by song titles, the lyrics are incredibly cheesy, generic and abstracted from real experience. Someone who conceptualizes his life in terms like "Self-Actualize", "Destroy" and "Create" can't be a very sincere or skilled writer. Good autobiography needs to be personal.

Don't judge only from song titles. HERE's the explaination for every track
mz - 02.10.2013 at 22:34  
Written by R Lewis on 02.10.2013 at 16:39


comment


fair enough
KrobMetal - 03.10.2013 at 03:32  
Really the only thing that I wish this record has more of was drums - they're more recessed in the mix than I'd like. Other than that it's a nice listen.
Teravolt_Danny - 04.10.2013 at 09:11  
Listened to "self-actualize." The music is alright but his clean voice just kills it for me.
INÆRIS - 11.10.2013 at 11:00  
This man needs to make friends with a guitar player. Having an actual guitar on this record would make it much more powerful and alive. The imperfections of the sampled guitar (lack of variation in attack as well as unnatural decays and many other factors) stick out to me quite a bit and take away from the inspiring music this man is making. Very great music, and a talented musician, but his craft could be represented much better. I look forward to seeing how Komulainen develops in future releases.
psykometal - 18.10.2013 at 06:02  
Written by INÆRIS on 11.10.2013 at 11:00

This man needs to make friends with a guitar player. Having an actual guitar on this record would make it much more powerful and alive. The imperfections of the sampled guitar (lack of variation in attack as well as unnatural decays and many other factors) stick out to me quite a bit and take away from the inspiring music this man is making. Very great music, and a talented musician, but his craft could be represented much better. I look forward to seeing how Komulainen develops in future releases.

Yea, I don't understand why the hell he chose to use "sampled guitars" instead of "real guitars" either. The dude is a freakin' guitar player, and all of his promo shots feature him holding a guitar. What the eff, dude?!

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