|Review: Nordheim - …And The Raw Metal Power|
|…And The Raw Metal Power|
Label: Marquee Records
Year released: 2002
Genre: Power Metal
Review online: March 16, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:…And The Raw Metal Power
Nordheim are a Brazilian band I had never heard of, but one listen through "Doomsday" on their website and I was a convert. I have the original pressing of this CD on Marquee Records in Brazil from 2002, the album has since been re-released by Mausoleum with three bonus tracks (said tracks being just demo versions of songs on the CD, so you aren't missing anything.) under the title "River Of Death".
Nordheim play a heavier, meaner variety of power metal that owes very little to the standard eurometal sound. There are no keyboards here, no happy melodies or standard "Fight For Glory and Honor" type lyrics. Nordheim just crank up the metal and go. There is a certain amount of Iron Maiden influence at work, some Priest, and even a thrashy feel that reminds me of Forbidden a bit, but really Nordheim have an energetic, original sound that doesn't specifically recall any one band. Vocalist Helio Oliva is a real highlight of the proceedings, as he has a distinct voice full of raw power and vitality. At the thrashier moments he sounds somewhat like Russ Anderson, and this may account for some of the slight Forbidden-esque touch I hear. The leadwork is really good, with wonderful Priest/Maiden harmonizing all over the place. The band as a unit is very tight, and the production is excellent.
All this would just be window-dressing if the songwriting wasn't up to the drill, but I'm glad to say it is. The album opens in fine form with the aggressive "River Of Death", then thunders right into the ultra-catchy "Doomsday" – which is the song that sold me on this album. Not all the songs are this good, but none of them are bad, and with winners like "Evil Intentions", "Hammer Of Gods" and "The Metal March!" this album is a sure bet. My only real gripe is that two of the tracks here: "Alone In The Dark" and "Damnation Of Gods" are not songs at all, but ambient/narrative tracks with sound effects and crap like that. They aren't annoying, but they are a waste of space.
The package is very classy, with a black slipcase featuring the band logo around a well put together jewel case. The art is atypical for a melodic band, but well-done. It recalls the sorts of covers bands like Nuclear Assault used to have. The lyrics are included, and are well worth reading. These are no peace and love poems here.
For their debut Nordheim have put out an impressive album of dark and aggressive power metal that walks the line between modern power and true metal. If you enjoy the meaner modern power metal bands like Rawhead Rexx or Sacred Steel then this is a CD you should absolutely check out.
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