Friday, 20 September 2013

Nordafrost - Dominus Frigoris

NORDAFROST - Dominus Frigoris (GODEATER - CD 2013)
Oh boy, I still remember how much I hated the black metal bands from Germany, which circulated around the mid to late 90’s, mainly around that pathetic record label called Last Episode… you know, all that shit like Dunkelgrafen, Aeba, Eminenz, Mystic Circle and more. They were born from the brown eye of Satan and smelled and sounded shit hehe! Anyway, later on something has changed. There appeared some bands, which I actually started to like a lot and all of a sudden the German scene became very, very interesting: Graven, Lunar Aurora, Klabautamann, Sun of the Sleepless, and then Nachtmahr, Secrets of the Moon and Helrunar; some of these bands are my all time favourites now! If you add to this list such Chaos Invocation, Ascension and whatever I have already forgotten then really you may imagine how strong the German black metal scene has become. And it is good of corpse! Their death metal used to suck a lot, so at least black metal became more interesting. Here in this review I am going to write few words about the band called Nordafrost and I must be honest and say that they never were among my favourites. I know them for some years already, I think first time I’ve heard them was around 10 years ago, when Heavy Horses Records sent me a couple of promos for review: Klabautamann’s excellent “Der Ort” and Nordafrost’s “North Arise”. Hmm, back then Nordafrost didn’t impress me much and maybe this is why I totally erased their name from my mind and just haven’t listened to anything from this band ever since I have finished writing that review of “North Arise” (that promo CD is still gathering dust and mould somewhere, but I need to exhume it now and check it out again…). I know now that later Nordafrost has recorded their second album „Back to the Shores of Grey”, but I doubt that it got any good promotion, as the band remains rather unknown… Anyway, recently I was contacted by Svartis (guitars / vocals) with an e-mail promoting Nordafrost’s new release – it was a re-release of the band’s debut demo „Dominus Frigoris” by Godeater Records. Well, I immediately reminded myself that I used to know Nordafrost, so I contacted Svartis about this demo and he kindly sent me over a copy. „Dominus Frigoris” was re-released on digipack format, with some bonus tracks, so the album is really attractive…
And well, I must say that the music on „Dominus Frigoris” really intrigued me and more so, I must say that Nordafrost’s music turned out to be much more interesting than I remembered (so this is also why I need to exhume “North Arise”!). Their black metal may not be the most original and not the most thrilling ever, but certainly it is good enough to give it few spins and enjoy the music damn a lot. Yeah, it didn’t put me down on my knees, but I got hooked by some of these songs and really liked „Dominus Frigoris” for the solid, dark and gloomy music. The riffs played by Nordafrost are rather simplistic, but not primitive; tempo wise their music is often furiously fast, but it is also diverse with other tempos, so in the end you won’t find here any monotony, but a lot of dynamics and energy. Such songs like “Lyn Og Torden” (with some vocals sounding like Grutle from Enslaved hehe) are massive, furious and merciless attacks on your hears, while such “Nocturnal Cult” is filled with slower bits and more melodic riffs. „Dominus Frigoris” is just damn good demo!
But that is not everything, as the bonus tracks are even more interesting. First we have the material from the split EP, originally released with Unlight (in 2006). It is one song plus two more, which were recorded during the same session, but until now they remained unreleased I think (one of them is Depression cover). Musically and sound wise this stuff is quite similar to „Dominus Frigoris”, but I do think that “Assault” is one of the best songs of Nordafrost; it has killer feeling and speeds up into such furious tempos that the walls crack. And finally we have two recent songs of the band, released under the title “The Victorious” EP and man; these are just great tunes. I am sure that everyone, who loves Immortal’s recent albums will also love these tracks. I really do think that Nordafrost got quite close, both musically and quality wise, to Immortal and that is a compliment! Again there are many fast tempos, but also some slower parts, so this is just solid and damn awesome black metal. Nothing more to add. Recommended release!
Standout tracks: “Assault”, “Lyn Og Torden”, “The Victorious”
Final rate: 80/100

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