Need - Norchestrion: A Song For The End review

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Band: Need
Album: Norchestrion: A Song For The End
Release date: January 2021

01. Avia
02. Beckethead
03. Nemmortal
04. Bloodlux
05. V.a.d.i.s.
06. Norchestrion
07. Circadian
08. Ananke
09. Kinwind

Need is one of Greece's best kept secrets. They play progressive metal and they do in style; heaps of style, in fact.

Norchestrion: A Song For The End is the band's fifth album and, as cliché as it may sound, it is another step forward for them. If you put this latest release next to their debut, The Wisdom Machine, it almost feels as if the two were made by different bands. This result hasn't happened out of the blue since they have been shifting their sound and direction with every album. This latest one finds Need at their most accessible and mellow ever but the term 'accessible' doesn't imply 'simple' by any means and the term 'mellow' does not imply 'toothless' either.

What strikes as instantly enjoyable about Need's current songwriting is that, even though it is complex and progressive, it doesn't feel as such because it flows naturally and it is always very balanced. Like many people, I have a love/hate relationship with progressive metal, often finding it way too self-indulgent and up its own arse. Norchestrion: A Song For The End has been noticeably crafted and performed by very proficient musicians and an impressive vocalist but at the same time it is made for music listeners rather than music teachers. And, like every good progressive album, it becomes better and better after every listen by unveiling extra layers and different aspects.

The first single, "Nemmortal", already scored high on the memorability scale last November with its "I've become so dark and sinister" line, as well as with the folksy passage towards the end that could have been in any Rotting Christ album of the previous decade. "Beckethead" and "Bloodlux" are fine prog specimens, the former with its Rush-like intro and with the drums being tortured mercilessly and driving the song, and the latter with its frequent mood changes that are executed admirably. The same can be said about "Circadian", which is based on very interesting work by the bass and the drums. The longest track on Norchestrion is "Ananke" and, during its almost 19 minutes of runtime, it tries many things and succeeds in most, even though it may feel as being a tad too long.

Just like on their previous two records, Need have used a short, cinematic, introductory song before the title track, only this time both are placed in the middle of the album instead of at the end of it. "V.a.d.i.s." is existential prose between two people over an ambient score that some may find unnecessary or even skippable at first listen. I personally never skip it; instead, I am actually looking forward to it every time I play the album. In my opinion, it is an excellent choice and very cleverly placed, and it opens the door for "Norchestrion", one of the best Need songs ever, with its beautiful melodies and some fantastic interplay between the keyboards and the lead guitar.

As I have already said above, the more you listen the more you discover. I have had the album for nearly two months and - believe it or not - this is the first and only time that I personally asked a band for a promo (instead of just being handed one, which is the norm) and I did that simply because I believe they deserve all the exposure and praise they can get. After more than twenty listens, I love the fact that I am still discovering new things. Norchestrion: A Song For The End may not be progressing the genre in any way but it's a damn great and intelligent progressive metal album. It is pure headphones music for music lovers.

"…what if the end doesn't last for a moment but for thirty or fifty or two hundred years… and instead of meteor strikes and mountains of fire all we got was gift certificates, discount cards and vouchers… and instead of poison raining from the skies we're stuck with this ever-growing ocean of plastic… and a tapestry of empty candy wrappers, used condoms and useless souvenirs…"


Written on 08.01.2021 by Only way to feel the noise is when it's good and loud!


Comments: 5   Visited by: 98 users
08.01.2021 - 10:28
For some reason I kept mistaking them for Poem, both of whom I've seen live, both of whom are 4-letter Greek prog acts.

I'll give it a go when it's out. Slightly jealous that you got to start reviewing 2021 albums before I did.
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?

2021 goodies
08.01.2021 - 10:33
Written by RaduP on 08.01.2021 at 10:28

Slightly jealous that you got to start reviewing 2021 albums before I did.

tominator beat us both

It's a very good album. Do check it out.
09.01.2021 - 23:15
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Radu are you julouse about it hehe.
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
13.01.2021 - 16:01

the folksy passage towards the end that could have been in any Rotting Christ album of the previous decade

That was my first thought exactly, something from Aealo maybe
27.01.2021 - 14:27
Dudeist Priest
Greece's best kept secret. Yep. I've never heard of these dude... haha
That rug really tied the room together, did it not?

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