• Donpheebin - Phenomenon Appeared (2000) (8/10)

    Genre: Progressive Metal
    Label: Self-production
    Playing time: 51:39
    Band homepage: -

    Tracklist:

    1. ปรากฎการณ์-ปรากฎกาย
    2. มันเริ่มมา
    3. ...คือชีวิต
    4. ไม่เช่นนั้น
    5. Judgement Day
    6. เพียงเริ่มทาง
    7. คืนค่ำวัน
    8. วันใหม่ - วันหม่น
    9. Return To The Nature III

     

    Donpheebin - Phenomenon Appeared

    ปรากฎการณ์ ปรากฎกาย or “Phenomenon Appeared” is the sixth and until now final record of Thailand’s metal pioneers DONPHEEBIN. This record released in 2000 somehow closes the circle that once started with “โลกมืด or “Dark World” seven years earlier. It’s a sad thing that these three outstanding musicians didn’t release more records but at the same time, this album is a very good swansong if they won’t come back in the future.

     

    This album continues the more atmospheric and progressive vein of the last two albums and even completely abandons the band’s Thrash Metal most of the time. The opening title track which is still among the harder songs including a few Thrash Metal elements is already hold in a more melodic mid-tempo pace and includes a few melodic shouts next to the less impressive guttural vocals. Most of the other songs even go further.

     

    This fact is underlined by three instrumental tracks among nine songs on the band’s longest album. While the instrumentals “...คือชีวิต or “Life Is…” and “Return To The Nature III” are very appeasing, folk driven, ethereal, laid back, mysterious, nature bound and spiritual, the third instrumental “Judgement Day” starts like a brilliant rock ballad before it gets a slightly harder touch towards the middle of the track.

     

    The album’s epic “เพียงเริ่มทาง or “Just Beginning” also underlines the laid back direction of the band’s sixth output. What we have here is a really calm and slow paced epic with multiple laid back vocals, a versatile but never thunderous drum play and a great mixture of acoustic and electric guitar play. The song reminds me of a METALLICA ballad that meets an experimental ballad of AMORPHIS’ third or fourth album. We have to wait for more than two minutes and a half before melodic vocals set in and they only remain one element among many others. While the instrumental part of DONPHEEBIN has always been more important than the rest, this is the album where this fact becomes most evident. Once the vocals are there, they sound more natural than before and fit in very well though. This record and especially this song sound as if the band was in peace with the entire universe. And isn’t that a great way to close the short but impressive career of a stunning band?

     

    In the end, this record is definitely the calmest one of the band. Its sound can be compared to the calmer songs of the band’s very first effort seven years earlier while the song writing itself has matured and sounds more progressive than ever. This record is dominated by appeasing and still powerful acoustic and electric guitar melodies. Fans of instrumental albums and Progressive Metal should try this album out while fans of the band’s more Thrash and Death Metal bound releases may only like a few songs on here. I really like the album but I think that it ultimately probably is too calm for its own good. You really have to be in the right mood to dig this record because three instrumentals and almost all songs that mainly focus on the instrumental parts can be too much for some of us.

     

    (Online September 10, 2013)

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