Nomans Land - Farnord review
|Release date:||August 2009|
01. Shield Of Northern Fjords
02. Valhalla Calls
04. Prophecy Of Runes
05. Land Of A Cold Flame
07. Father North
08. Storm Of Steel
09. Voice Of Battle
Ever since I heard the title track to The Last Son Of The Fjord I've been really quite interested in the music of the Russian Viking-themed metal band Nomans Land. Well my interest has been re-kindled once again as the group have another new album out - Farnord. Those wondering if the band has stayed fresh after the passing of years and an ever-increasing discography have nothing to worry about; Nomans Land has really delivered a top notch and more professional release.
If you've listened to the older music of Nomans Land you'll quite quickly notice the differences between it and the new era. The band has definitely continued in the way of Viking Black metal, more so than just the harsh vocals. Present are cold fast-strummed Black Metal riffs and a lot more layers of atmosphere. Farnord seems to have a lot more depth and the listener has a lot more to hone in on when listening to the songs of the album. Nomans Land seems to have taken their music to a new dimension.
The thing about Farnord is that it's still full of folk-style melodies that will hook you in whether you like it or not but as with Raven Flight they seem colder and harsher. The Black Metal influence will give you a darker ride this time around, but the listener will find it to be just as enjoyable. Extra heavy distorted riffs make their way into the album as well, complementing the clever solos and melodic strumming. They make you instantly pay even more attention and uncontrollably nod your head.
As you've probably gathered, Farnord is flooded with positives; great musicianship including the aforementioned guitar-work, thunderous drumming and excellent vocals. There are perhaps fewer passages of the booming clean vocals Nomans Land are known for but the harsh vocals are much improved. Not that Hjervard's performance was bad or anything but this time around he seems to have more passion and rasps with more force, ultimately resulting in a stronger performance. His voice is also deeper and fits the Black Metal music style like a glove. Along with the deeper atmospheres too comes great production. Without killing the dark vibe, Farnord is nice crisp affair. The drumming is drowned out a bit at times but overall not too bad.
All in all there really isn't too much to gripe about with Farnord. Sure the band hasn't set new landmarks with their themes or lyrics and it isn't entirely in every aspect a perfect album. With its start-to-finish catchiness and wonderfully cold but battle-like feeling however, it's close enough.
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| Edmund Fogg
Down Under Staff
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