Just in time for those wintry nights comes a stunning debut of epic Doom from new Maltesers (??) NOMAD SON equipped with enough gloom to set the tone right and also stuffed full of gargantuan riffs and thundering percussion. Now, when one thinks of Metal from Malta you probably immediately conjure up FORSAKEN along with the extreme end of the spectrum in BEHEADED and ABYSMAL TORMENT. The initial thought wouldn’t be too wrong headed as NOMAD SON are also a project with FORSAKEN’s bassist Albert Bell in the mix. Not quite the same, NOMAD SON do however quite easily cover the glorious aspects of classic Doom along with many moments of 70’s Rock with their infusion of organ work and galloping choruses.
This is one hell of a ride, with perfect aspects of Doom culled together with some seriously catchy and infectious grooves such as in “At The Threshold Of Consciousness” and even the slow-to-mid paced “Wraith”; deep, down-tuned notes played alongside jagged rhythms and those glorious Hammond organ forays. TMO Brother Ralph mentioned it in his review also, but it really bares being told again: the organ work on this album is sensational and fits right in with the whole mood of the album and its throwback sound. In saying that, there is quite a bit of contemporary CANDLEMASS sounds emanating on “First Light”, and one wouldn’t be misspoken to describe the sound on a lot of the album as “Black Dwarf” meets early BLACK SABBATH. If that’s not a compliment I don’t know what is? NOMAD SON play around with tempo a lot on this album, blending near Funeral Doom aspects on some tracks and more traditional sounding Doom woven in and around these features. Fitting right in with the tone and bare yet epic feel is Jordan Cutajar’s crackin’, scratchy but evocative vocals. He may not be the rangiest singer, but he can grip his pipes around a tune and really belt it out. Gravel and power mix within his vocal chords and what is released is a beacon to Doom and Melodic Death chanters indeed.
Admitting I’m no Doom expert, I do however know what I like when it’s presented well and with abandon. Sometimes it’s Funeral or Sludge Doom, but when a band like NOMAD SON put together some really classic and as I said, epic Doom, I’m a big sucker for that. Although their initial release, “First Light” is a force to be reckoned with already in the sullen and darkened Doom world, and let’s hope NOMAD SON stick around as a brooding entity to pleasure us more with their cutting take on the genre and contagious songs. And keep the organ!!!
(Online January 18, 2009)