Nordicwinter – Desolation

Band: Nordicwinter
Title: Desolation
Label: Hypnotic Dirge Records (Reissue)
Release date: 20 June 2020 (original) / March 2021 (reissue)
Country: Canada
Format review: High-quality Digital Recording

I believed the horrid year that was 2020 was gone by now, but surely it still lingers. My most recent pick for review appears to have been released in June last year, so I decided to give the year one more chance to make it up to me in the form of the Canadian Nordicwinter and as previous mentioned, the last year released album “Desolation”. It was a nice change too, since it seems like I have been doing a lot of EPs lately however this is a full-length album, the third in line for this artist since the first release in 2007.

The start of the intro track was soothing. “Forest of Despair” Clean electric guitar, pianos playing along, the whole arrangement represents beauty braded with a saddened tone before turning to more of a metal way although keeping the melodies and atmosphere which keeps it interesting as well as relevant throughout the listening process. The intro of the following track however, “A Shadow´s veil” is fully distorted while keeping the pace and vibe of the previous track. The pleasant listening experience it gives can be traced to the unique beauty of the harmonized melodies, double bass drumming and guitars. The shrieking distant vocals make it impossible to hear what the words are, and honestly at first, I expected something far more depressive or even chaotic. This is well written, easy listening metal.

The first of two instrumental tracks on this album is “Fall to Ruin”. I love instrumentals, I don’t know exactly why, perhaps it has something to do with the easier way to connect with music when vocals are absent. The lurking sound surely is not missing, sort of makes you expect something to happen at every bar of the track which suits this one well as a middle mark of the album and therefor creates a nice balance to it. Arrival of orchestration and backing guitars give a grand sound to the following track “All that Remains” with following aggressive segments that gives a nice weigh with the more atmospheric sound.

“Tomb of Silence” doesn’t seem like it should have much audio in it, but it did prove me wrong. The haunting feel of a windy sample with the guitars chiming in is even more appropriate than just silence and followed by the second instrumental “Last Rites” which implements together both the bass side of a piano as well as the brighter side. The naked sound serves as an appropriate closer to this work. It also ends quickly, leaving the listener with that saddened feel from which this whole album was created around.

For anyone liking metal, this album is very listening friendly and easy to get into. Of course, the red thread throughout the whole thing is depressive and melancholic, but the tracks are created with melodies and atmosphere in mind, sounding more beautiful and grand than anything else. I think I would prefer the later half of the album; the tracks are more diverse within themselves but overall, I salute this work. 8/10 Julia Katrin

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8/10 To Greatness and Glory!
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