Monday, December 8, 2014

Catching up With 2014 -Old Wainds :"Nordraum"

This Russian project churns up some pretty convincingly sounding Scandanavian metal, despite being slightly East of Viking territory. The raid your ears with storming black metal that leaves your head spinning. This common occurrence with extreme music that makes you catch your breath on the first song then, finds the bar raised for the rest of the album, to prove they can both keep up the intensity and not prove to be a one trick pony. The beginning of "Insane Stellar Race" doesn't make a very convincing argument to these guys being able to do more than throw hateful blasts of thrash influenced black metal at you. There is a little more stomp and venom here and there but it is a monochrome burst of black noise. This is o.k for even two songs, but a whole album?

Even there was a distinct break in between songs, the previous became a drone of white noise making the album fall into the background,so I did not notice they moved onto "Not the Sun Nor the Moon".There is a little more going on with this one , but it is paced in a blast just like the song before it so if you miss the break between songs this could very well be the same song, Meaning all their songs sound the same. There is what could be a catchy accent , but is played so fast it loses all punch. The vocals are a mid ranged dry rasp. Less of a croak than say Immortal , but not holding tons of personality either. "Inquiring of Secrecy's" could be any of the other songs they tried to race past my ears at this point. They are good at the one thing they create, the one thing gets old with little variance and zero dynamics. Blast beat to a more punk beat that is almost as fast is not a dynamic, Neither is almost going into half time while the guitars remain static. But some people might not ask much from their black metal.

Bass leads the way on "As spilled blood they spout". There is a familiar fury here. The vocal accent is slower the guitars , who are the main culprit the drummer plays off of keep the white noise static tremolo chug going. It is a little more epic when you hear them start to lock in more with the drums, but it might as well be a wasp buzzing by my ear. This song does break into all the other instruments dropping out while the guitar does what it has been doing for the entire album so far , however the drummer knows the value of dynamics and slows his part down. This almost creates a galloping groove and is one of the albums strongest moments.

When the changes begin to come it's almost too little to late. "Refracting the Light" is played with much slower accents , the chords ring out melodically almost like Inquisition. It is actually a really good song, proving that the mindless blast-o-thons, could have been given a little more thought and melodic consideration and felt more like music less like punishment. Not that this kind of metal should not be punishing, but it need more redeeming musical value. They stay in this more mature musical mode on the closing track "Stone Weaver". This one proves to be another good song, with a nice throbbing pulse to the riff that makes the chug they rip into more effective,  and come across as heavier than when they rushed everything by you. The last of act the album certainly redeems it's self, if you are really aching for some new black metal that you might have missed earlier in the year in the lean holiday times  then give it a chance, I'll give it a 6, and don't see it lasting very long in my iPod, but yours might be a different story.

OLD WAINDS Nordraum by Negative Existence

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