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Nomans Land - Farnord (8,5/10) - Russia - 2009

Genre: Viking Metal
Label: Einheit Produktionen
Playing time: 42:54
Band homepage: Nomans Land

Tracklist:

  1. Shield Of Northern Fjords
  2. Valhalla Calls
  3. Nornorheim
  4. Prophecy Of Runes
  5. Land Of A Cold Flame
  6. Ulvsjar
  7. Father North
  8. Storm Of Steel
  9. Voice Of Battle

Russian’s NOMANS LAND have been in the spearhead of the Russian Viking Metal movement for a while now, so when their latest effort “Farnord” came around I was looking forward to their fourth effort. And while the previous effort “Raven Flight” had been branching out into a few bordering genres here and there and took a somewhat bombastic hue, their newest album returns to the more traditional Viking Metal paths with a decidedly epic orientation that will manifest their position with ease.

 

There are a few elements that make NOMANS LAND a little special in the genre, one is the use of excellent clear vocals courtesy of guitarist Sigurd, same goes for the lead guitars that here and there have this very peculiar Russian character that makes so many bands of this country so distinct, everything embedded into a firm bed of Viking Metal that may not be groundbreaking, but has plenty of hooks and great atmosphere to win the fan(s) over with ease and the nicely balanced production also plays its part in what endears the St.Petersburg-based band to me so much, all of which can be pinpointed to several of the tracks that would make excellent first points of contact, four to be precise.

 

Opening “Shield Of Northern Fjords” gives us a good overall taste of what to expect from “Farnord”, epic, with good use of the harsh Black Metal based and strong, deep clear vocals, whereas “Nornorheim” shows us a more powerful side, with pressing double-bass and tight riffing (that almost reminds me a little of Swedish heavyweights AMON AMARTH here and there, once more mixing the two different vocal styles. “Ulvsjar” brings in these typical playful Russian lead guitars and an equally typical strong Russian accent in the clear vocals, while my personal favourite “Storm Of Steel” shows the probably strongest clear vocal performance in the chorus, embedded into yet another epic track. And the tracks not mentioned are not duds either, overall the cohesiveness of the whole album is something very worth mentioning, as NOMANS LAND build up an equally varied and well balanced album that should cater to any genre fan.

 

To me “Farnord” is the so far most mature and probably best effort by the Russians and cements their position within the genre, which is something very difficult these days given the sheer number of bands trying their luck in this style. If you like it Russian and epic, look no further than NOMANS LAND’s fourth, this is seriously strong material, emanating both power and beauty!

(Online March 25, 2010)

Alexander Melzer



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