Thursday, August 29, 2013

Nomad Son-The Darkening

Metal on Metal Records

With all due respect fuck Black Sabbath! Or at the very least fuck "13". Hear me out first before you get the torches and pitchforks. So unimpressed and uninspired was I by the new Black Sabbath album that I couldn't even bring myself to write up even the simplest of reviews for it. I'm ready for the onslaught that such a bold declaration will bring so on with the grief and ill-will if you must. Why though would I bring up their name and their album for this review? It's quite simple folks. This my friends is the real deal. This is how you properly do doom metal. It is so much better than "13" that it almost seems as if the two albums come from two different realms! And it's not as if Nomad Son has been going at it for all that long either! Having been formed back in 2006 by veteran musician Albert Bell (Forsaken), with "The Darkening" serving as my "proper" introduction to this Malta-based band, the bass player has transformed this band into a lethal outfit. The first time that I actually heard Nomad Son was on the Metal on Metal compilation "Compendium Of Metal Vol. 5.". At the time I enjoyed the group's contribution, "Can't Turn the Tide" (said song ended up on the group's last recording, 2010's "The Eternal Return"), although I admit that it didn't seem to be anything all that special. That's simply not the case with "The Darkening" though!. The band, who yet again choose to work with producer David Vella (he also did the mastering and mixing on this 9-track album), have released one of the best doom metal albums I have ever had the experience of listening to! That might sound a bit hard to swallow, but "The Darkening" is just such a good album that I don't even know where to begin! Maybe we should start off with lead vocalist Jordan Cutajar then? On Nomad Son's third full-length recording his voice fluctuates between being eerie and downright evil! Whether he is offering up "clean" singing (nice and sinister) or going for the role of a lifetime by playing the part of a demonically possessed front-man (spooky and unnerving) he handles both with ease. His vocal delivery plays a huge role in the atmospheric vibe that is found on "The Darkening" and when it's added to such classically-constructed doom the album goes from being good to great! As mentioned the bass parts are played by Albert Bell and his ability is never a question as these 9-tracks feature the perfect amount of bass to guitar ratio. Speaking of guitars, it's the skills of Chris Grech that also help to make this one dangerously enjoyable collection of metallic doom numbers! His leads are great on "The Darkening" and when you add in the abundant skills of  keyboardist Julian Grech and drummer Edward Magri the focus soon shifts into overdrive! Favorite tracks of mine would be the killer pair of "Age of Contempt" & "Decent to Hell" as well as the "Holy Shit Batman that is one damn deadly number!" title track which just slays the dragon if you will! Even if those are my fave cuts on Nomad Son's new disc there isn't a bad song to be found among this batch. Each cut perfectly fits with the next as you're treated to sharp leads and heavy bass riffs. Nomad Son has achieved so much in such a (relatively) short time that it's hard not to gush all over this album. But, if all modern doom metal was as good as this one was (or hell, even half as good!) the world of heavy metal would be oh so heavenly! It isn't though (or at least the doom scene needs more of these sorts of bands) so you have to snatch 'em up when they strike gold. And this is golden doom goodness. I think you get my point by now on how I feel about this kick-ass album so the choice is all yours to make. Do you settle for doom done up by bands that are (seemingly) just going through the motions or do you hunt out bands that live, breathe and flat-out sweat doom? You know which side of the fence I'm standing on....

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Anonymous Albert Bell said...

Wow, cheers for this great review...really chuffed that you are enjoying our new album so much. Will post this on our facebook page soon...along with the other rave reviews we've had so far.
Hails brother.
Albert (Nomad Son)

12:50 PM  

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