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Claemus - Album Review: Daydream

21 Oct 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

When I heard that Hutt Valley band Claemus had released their debut album I was immediately intrigued, as I came across the single Hedonist a few months ago, and given the number of influences and styles they had managed to ram into 5 minutes what could they do with a full album? These guys have managed to secure support slots with bands as diverse as P.O.D., The Ocean, Make Them Suffer and Intervals, yet one could never imagine those four bands playing at the same festival, so why do Claemus manage to be a common link? The answer to that is just down to the sheer variety of styles on offer, which means that we can get a commercial hard rock number like Epilogue (which is strangely not the very last song on the album), which comes across as American crossover prog or Aspire Part III which has strong similarities with Written By Wolves.

Of course, there is the aforementioned Hedonist, which is a commercial belter which has been heavily influenced by Meshuggah and Protest The Hero, and one soon realizes that Claemus is very unlike most bands around in that they genuinely takes bits and pieces from bands they admire, throw it into a melting pot and messes about with what comes out. They are a progressive rock band in its very truest sense, in that they are taking influences and putting them together in new and interesting ways where they are moving and out of different genres, sometimes staying mostly in one and at others mixing them together. The result is that the listener can look at the track listing, and all they know for sure is that there are 9 songs and a total playing length of 38 minutes, and no idea at all what the album is going to sound like.

This is more unusual than many may think, as even though some bands do change their style from one album to the next (for example Metallica – I never said the change was a good one) while others play basically the same style throughout their career (AC/DC), it is unusual to find a band changing not only from one song to the next but often within the song as well. This is why they are able to get so many different support slots as they can tailor their set to whoever they are playing with, so someone seeing them support a death metal act like Make Them Suffer will come away with a very different view to when they are playing with a more progressive band like The Ocean.

At times this almost comes across as a compilation in that they are so diverse, with the common thread being good songs with mighty hooks. Recovery is probably my favourite, a real builder with long commercial passages, vocals moving into falsetto, great drums and passion shining through as it ebbs and flows. This is an album which is thoroughly enjoyable the first time of playing, and it only gets better from there.


Rating: ( 4 / 5 )
 

About Claemus

The underlying ethos in Claemus has been to fuse the musical influences of three musicians coming from classic rock, Avante garde and death metal backgrounds.

Starting in late 2011 the band aimed to achieve new sonic possibilities in the progressive rock genre by fusing ambient textural sounds, deep rhythmic grooves and catchy hooks. With influences ranging from Karnivool, Mudvayne, God is an Astronaut and Shpongle it is clear that Claemus want to be defined by a musical approach rather than a particular genre. Claemus’ musical approach can be characterised by a philosophy that aims to give each song a unique feeling often resulting in varying dynamics, time signatures and key changes in the one song.

Claemus has been together for five years and are based in the Hutt Valley which is a largely suburban area located outside of Wellington. The experience of growing up in a small town with an uncultured stereotype attached to it has served as serious musical inspiration. Instead of adhering to the stereotype ascribed by outsiders, the band aims to encourage youth to pursue creative outlets and be proud of their roots. Pursuing a creative outlet has enabled Claemus to slowly become an exciting band on the rise within the Wellington scene.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Claemus

Releases

Daydream
Year: 2021
Type: Album
Claemus
Year: 2016
Type: EP

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