|Review: Nordwind - Wendehorn|
Label: Darker than Black Records
Year released: 2012
Genre: Black Metal
Review online: August 11, 2012
Reviewed by: Memnarch
This album certainly came as a welcome surprise right out of the blue. Nordwind are a Canadian band with strong ties to another well known Vancouver act Godless North with Wendehorn being their debut foray into the imposing wilderness of black metal. And for a first album, it’s an extremely impressive effort which contains a lot more character than a lot of the Black Metal coming out of Canada at the moment, opting for a rather more stripped back and raw pagan-themed approach than the separatist black metal movement emanating from Quebec.
It’s obvious from the monstrosity of a riff which splinters "Gazing From the Void" that Absurd play a considerable influence in their sound; ugly, obnoxious and in your face not least exaggerated by the thundering drums and Kveldulv’s reverbed roaring. The whole album in general is very much focused on the guitar work, it’s without a doubt the strongest aspect present anyway powering through the songs with enough force to level a skyscraper. It’s heavily influenced by the classic Nordic style as well, more than once bringing to the fore visions of Satanic Warmaster in its almost rock-like arrangements. "Spear of Mastery" contains some impressive lead work injected in among the chaos to help shake things up a bit.
The songs all generally follow the same basic pattern and it has to be said that the first half of the album is stronger than the second, but that by no means says that the rest is bad, indeed it’s still better than a lot out there at the moment. The pulverizing guitar and drumming is the unarguable highlight here though Kveldulf’s vocals are still very strong, opting for a lower guttural rather than harsh screaming. It also happens to be very well produced as well which is a bonus especially in the genre of NSBM.
So yeah, it’s in its simplicity that it really shines and their blend of raw, raucous and blistering black metal is as subtle as a fist to the face and will leave you with barely a chance to catch your breath. As stated though, it does tend to lose steam the longer it goes, but I still find this act has a lot more personality and replay value than Godless North, containing an almost perfect balance between the raw and atmospheric. Nordwind will certainly be an act to look out for in the future.
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