Aug 30, 2013

Nordor - Erga Omnes (2012)

Nordor "Erga Omnes"
Summer 2012, Deathrune Records

Is this another Nordor full length album? These dudes released three demos in a period of six years, and then nothing. Everyone thought they were dead, and the fans were feeding on the 3-demo compilation that was released (finally) by a label in 2003, or by the handmade and handnumbered copies of their early work, and nothing more. Despite having a poor discography, a movement was behind their backs the whole time. Until 2007, when a new EP named "Mandattu" came out, and that gave a sparkle of rebirth to Nordor, similar to the spasms of a dead body for about a second, when you electrify it.

In 2008, the long awaited moment arrived, the band came through to release their first ever full length after 19 years as a gift to the supportive fans, a true feast it was. It was mean, straightforward and breathtaking for the most part, without managing to surpass the limit of excellence because of it's production and compositional strength. Despite that, the album was directed to a cast of people and these people devoured it, guaranteeing that the mighty Nordor, one of the first death metal bands from Greece, was back. At a time when any experimentation in death metal results into mediocre melodeath or overproduced technical death, a band from the past is of some use, since it's intentions and visions are deeply rooted to the original cause that was introduced two decades ago. This is not another act that i would include in the new wave of old school death metal (which is a great wave anyway). And yet, four years after the release of Honoris Causa another album was announced, titled "Erga Omnes". Man, i hope this is going to be good.

If they have done anything different, it was just filling the missing parts of the first album and improving it in every way. The great artwork is a trademark of Spiros "Seth" Antoniou's work, who plays in Septic Flesh and has done covers for many bands, including Dagoba, Belphegor, Heaven Shall Burn, Nile, Moonspell etc... So, there's a first step up for the band. From the art, it seems like professional work has been done here, and that is matched with the music itself.

There are 14 songs this time and the album lasts a little longer (40 minutes, to be exact), so that means that they have increased the length of each song. I thought of the short songs in the first album as something that should be done otherwise, and they probably understood it as well. We have some 3-4 minute songs that don't end abruptly, they are fully developed and that means that the composition process worked just fine and it helps the band to show its musical briefcase in a better way. Of course there are some two minute songs again, but they have a good structure and contribute to the album's easy listening process. The production is as clean as it needs to be, its quite pleasant and powerful, especially compared to the first album. After a short introduction, the first song starts and it does have chunks of Six Feet Under and Cannibal Corpse combined, in fact the singer does sound like Chris Barnes, but with much better high screams. It reminds of a more death metal version of Six Feet Under, since there are no rock'n'roll riffs around here. It seems like these guys had still room for an improvement in the musicianship, the songs are well constructed, tight and heavy. It's definitely a solid album, to say the least. The previously superficial progressive elements have now risen and they are making their presence more apparent.

Lyrically, they have not changed that much. The anti-religious and occult element is all over the album again and there is a really cool initiation to Satan song called "Vow", where a priest calls a girl's faith in thy lord. There are far less greek lyrics this time, even though the subjects are not completely off-topic, as in the songs "Thelisis", "Labyrinthian", "Hyenas Embrace". There are some catchy grooves here and there, enhanced with ferocious blast beating and heavy bass, not to mention that Lordwinter (the singer) has literally, a hell of a voice for the genre. Credits should also be given to False Prophet, the guitarist of the band, who is self-taught and a prodigy in creating solid riffs and solos for the band.

To sum up, i think this album is the best Nordor offering we have so far, because of the musical improvement and the correction of past mistakes, they erased any misgivings i had about them being a great band. I saw them live last year, and i purchased this album from there, it was an amazing show and they can handle delivering their brutality as good as it sounds on the CD. Recommended for fans of Deicide, Cannibal Corpse, a bit of Six Feet Under, and solid death metal in general.

Track listing:
1. 5a
2. Memories from the Future
3. Misanthropic Κaleidoscope
4. Salvation from the Stench
5. Thelisis
6. Iscariots Fireshower / A Hymn to Traitors
7. Lycan
8. The Child of Mandragora
9. Vow
10. Bow to Me
11. Eye Contact With a God
12. Labyrinthian
13. Entrance to the World of Stars
14. Hyenas Embrace

DAMAGE: 7.5/10

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