Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Nomad Son-First Light / Pilgrimages of Doom

Metal on Metal Records

For those of you who do not know the name Nomad Son, or have yet to read my review of the group's latest studio-album "The Darkening" (link below), then perhaps a (brief) history lesson is in order. First formed in 2006 by Forsaken bassist Albert Bell, and filled out by members of the classic rock/progressive rock band Frenzy Mono!*, this doom metal group recorded a 2-track demo in 2007 (which went unreleased although both of the songs on it, "Shallow Grave" and "Empyrean Fade", were later included on a promo compilation by Metal On Metal Records) before releasing their debut-album, "First Light", in the summer of 2008. My first exposure to the group came by way of the Metal On Metal Records' promotional compilation, "Compendium Of Metal Vol. 5", with their track "Can’t Turn The Tide" (also available on the group's sophomore recording, "The Eternal Return"). Otherwise my first true "full-length" exposure to Nomad Son came from hearing, and then obviously reviewing, 2013's "The Darkening". That's an important distinction to understand so that when I say that I recommend this expanded re-release (of the initially out-of-print "First Light") solely for the excellent "Pilgrimages of Doom" side it's not taken the wrong way. Had I taken the natural journey with this Malta-based band from "First Light" all the way to "The Darkening" then I would have seen the natural evolution of this 5-piece act. Unfortunately I went about things backwards so, while "First Light" is a good album and (in retrospect) a fine starting point for Nomad Son, it simply pales in comparison to the group's killer album "The Darkening". However, it does effectively show what the band's initial intentions were when they first put together this act and how (over the course of three distinctly different albums) how they achieved their goal. In that respect it's a good listen. Alright, with that part out of the way let's dive right into the real joy of this re-release, the "Pilgrimages of Doom" DVD! When the idea of re-releasing the out-of-print "First Light" first came up the guys in Nomad Light decided to add in this special bonus so that both fans and newcomers alike would get maximum enjoyment out the product. And I'll tell you what folks, maximum enjoyment is an understatement as far as how much I enjoyed the DVD side of this one! The DVD side is just jam-packed with goodies (up to and) including professional, multi-camera live footage taken of the band between 2009 and 2011 (which really impressed me!), an interview with the band from when they played at Headbangers Open Air XII festival, a slide show and more! Here's the actual run-down as clipped from the Metal Archives with a few comments (marked by **) thrown in for good measure on my end:

Tracks 1-5 taken from Hammer of Doom VI festival (29th October 2011, Wuerzburg, Germany)

**Right up front I have to say that I was not expected the band to be as good live as they were on tape. Now that might sound bad I realize, but consider the fact that far too many bands these days get really doctored up thanks to extreme studio measures. Consider Black Sabbath for a moment. While their latest album sounds sharp enough and nice and clean it is painfully obvious how much of it is spit-shined. Especially as live footage of the group these days requires the listener to overlook just how awful Ozzy sounds in person! With Nomad Son you have a band that I'm now able to see and appreciate in a new light . The group's live material is tight and the group comes across as if the music is simply a natural expansion of their inner souls.

Tracks 6-13 taken from Doomsday IV festival (12th February 2011, Wakefield, UK)

** The band covers "Relentless" by Pentagram here. As one of their influences it's a cool number to hear Nomad Son play!

Tracks 14 and 16 taken from Headbangers Open Air XII festival warm-up show (22nd July 2009, Planet Alsen, Itzehoe, Germany)

** And another Pentagram cover shows up in "Sign of the Wolf"! Nice, very nice...

Track 15 - interview with the band at Headbangers Open Air XII festival, hosted by Andreas "Neudi" Neuderth (Streetclip.tv)

**This is quite nice as well.

Track 17 and 18 taken from Doom Shall Rise VII festival (10th April 2010, Goeppingen, Germany)

** In this clip we get a Trouble cover with "At the End of My Daze". So, two bands that have greatly influenced the development of this Malta act get covered! Nothing wrong with that at all!

Track 19 - taken from the band's appearance on "Generation" TV show (11th March 2009, on Maltese TV)

So yes, my observation of this re-release is pretty straight-forward. The thing is even if you have "First Light" already the bonus DVD, which is something like 2+ hours in length!, makes it well worth the money to pick it up again! Nomad Son sound AMAZING in a live setting and it's my goal now to try to see this group for myself before it's all said and done. And even if the band does get tagged as "doom metal" it's simply much more then that. Here's a band that usages Hammond organs and one which set out with the sole purpose of combining not only their shared love of band's like Black Sabbath, but their personal influences which includes classic bands like Uriah Heep! As the members all have different backgrounds in music and comes from all of these different walks of life they are able to combine these different elements not only on tape, but also in a live setting! And the one other thing that the DVD does is make me appreciate their new album even more! This is (simply put) one of the better "new" bands today in the doom metal scene and a huge reason for that is because with Nomad Son you've got a band that chooses to walk within the scene while also walking outside of it. This re-releases CD/DVD combo really helps to tell another part of the story of just who Nomad Son is and why they are destined to play an even bigger part in the future of doom metal. You can find out more about this must-own item here:
* I must credit Leif Krigen (Metal Squadron Mag) for the in-depth and highly informative interview he did with bassist Albert Bell. Prior to reviewing this CD/DVD, as (long story short) it took me sometime to find a proper device that would play this import releases' DVD side, I had read over the interview several times and found out a lot of useful information that I hadn't know before. I've included the link for the interview below as it is a good read for fans of Nomad Son and newcomers alike!



Review of "The Darkening"

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home