Noekk - The Water Sprite (Prophecy Productions) - Back
From the ashes of Empyrium, Schwadorf and Helm continue to surprise and surpass expectations with their newest project, Noekk (which, basically, is an ancient creature whom lured men, women & children into the abyss as explained by the band). Baldachin (Helm) is the main inspiration of Noekk (also vocalist, guitar, and keyboards) as Yugoth (Schwadorf), still a kingly element, settles as drummer, bassist, and second guitar this time around. This is not the continuation of Empyrium, actually, as many may have conjured. Although Noekk does have many similar assets (mysticism and nature), this is more of a progressive rock duo with elements more in line with King Crimson and Camel. The title track and first track of the disc is probably the best for notable Empyrium fans as it immediately takes on similarities to the first two heavier albums. "How Fortunate the Man With None" is by far the two members' most experimental song to date, which actually touches base with some Gabriel-era Genesis or even the darker Pink Floyd material (Obscured by Clouds). That is how weird that one is. Matter of fact, I can't really even describe it. Is it rock, metal, folk, good or bad, what? I also can't get over how much Baldachins' harder vocals sound like Ronny James Dio! That is probably the only part of the album I could even begin to criticize. "The Fiery Flower" and "The Riddle Seeker" are very good progressive tunes alongside the acoustic "T.B.'s Notion". Every song has some length (anywhere from 4 to 10 minutes). Not everyone will fall for Noekk, but most who have a progressive rock and dark metal liking will probably dig it...

Rating: 85

Reviewed By: Thomas Mitchell