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Noorvik - Omission CD (album) cover



Experimental/Post Metal

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Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
4 stars Noorvik is an experimental/post metal band from Cologne, Germany who released their debut, self-titled album early in 2018. "Omission" is their 2nd album and was released in October of 2019. The quartet is comprised of all of the original band members that were present on their debut album, namely Hennes Ernst on guitar, Johannes Schreiter on guitar, Dominik Hornung on bass and Arnd Finke on drums. The album is made up of 4 tracks and has a run time of over 35 minutes. It is available on CD, vinyl and digitally.

The four-track album starts with "Floating" (8:13) which begins on a high and airy drone which definitely gives on the feeling of floating. Soon, the band starts to play over the top of the drone with arpeggio chords and an atmospheric and smooth 2nd guitar playing quick repeated notes that descend softly. The beat is moderate. As the music continues the bass gets harder and the guitar patterns shift. The tempo and meters change on occasion, and the music get more varied and interesting as it continues, and each melody gets some development. Before the 5 minutes mark, the music gets more expansive and fuller, becoming quite expressive. It does get a bit heavier, yet it is quite a beautiful climax that moves surprisingly smoothly even with the darkening of the tone and somewhat thicker texture, almost orchestral in nature, but performed by only the four band members. Before the end, the secondary melody returns as the music softens and continues to the end. Quite a beautiful track.

"Above" (8:00) is much more solid and heavy right from the beginning. The drums are more active and pound out a heavy accompaniment to heavier guitars. The melody is majestic and the background is quite heavy. Just before 2 minutes, there is a sudden shift as the music softens and slows down. Again, a lovely and flowing melody begins. The music definitely captures your attention with the lovely melodic lines that emerge from the guitars and this is what makes the band stand out from other post metal bands, the excellent melodies and the way they develop them. A strumming acoustic guitar takes over the melody and turns it into a nice little Spanish style sound, but quickly, the band comes back in full force pushing the intensity up several levels. Still, the music remains smooth even in it's heaviness. The tempo shifts back to a quicker speed and the guitars push it all forward. The music is again quite expansive, heavy, yet beautifully melodic and expressive. Then as you near the end, there is a major last minute shift that will catch you off guard.

"Hidden" (9:22) has a nice atmospheric beginning, then the band comes in with a moderate tempo and another nice guitar pattern. There is some development as the music seems to be moving towards a typical post rock style this time around. Before 3 minutes, the music takes a heavier and darker tone with heavy drums and throbbing bass under the dual guitar attack, one taking the repeating pattern while the other plays the melody with sustained notes. Intensity grows more as it moves along. At 5 minutes, things soften, the guitar melody gets a chiming texture while the percussion becomes minimal and airy effects flow in the background. The drums suddenly start churning along building heaviness and then the solid feel of the track returns by the 7th minute. The drums go wild and push it up another level. This track is more like your typical post metal sound, but goes quite well with the previous more melodic and expressive tracks. However, dynamics continue to be quite important here as elsewhere.

"Dark" (9:44) goes for the suddenly solid sound with heavy drums and thick churning guitar chords. After a brief introduction, the music softens, but remains on the darker side of things. The music stays soft and wandering for a while, then at 3 minutes, suddenly the 2nd guitar comes crashing in producing an even darker layer of sound. At 4 minutes, there is a shift in tempo as the arpeggio moves faster and the drums echo the frantic feel. The music boils along and the other guitar brings in a more melodic line. The notes become more staccato and then suddenly a huge shift in heaviness amps up the track as the music gets to its heaviest point on the album. The tempo slows down, yet the heaviness remains as the music now trudges along. At 8 minutes, it suddenly calms again and a nice melody emerges from the main theme. In the last minute, we return to a floating sensation like in the first track with a lot of movement.

This is quite an excellent album, especially in the first half when the band pulls out some expressive and lovely sounds from their guitars. The mix of heaviness and softness works quite well, and both of these tracks are definite 5 star compositions because of their mix of post-rock and expressive melodies, something that definitely stands out. However, even though the music is still quite excellent, the 3rd track is more typical of the post-rock sound, and the album falters a bit for it as it is more predictable. The last track is great, but also lacks a bit of the expansiveness of the first half of the album. Anyway, it still manages a strong 4 star effort, but the strongest is definitely in the first half when the sound is more akin to the melodic sounds of "Mono" yet with a bit more heaviness present at times, and that is where Noorvik shines, staying beautifully melodic even in the heavier sections. This is definitely worth checking out.

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Posted Friday, October 4, 2019 | Review Permalink

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