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Need – Norchestrion: A Song for the End Award winner

Norchestrion: A Song for the End
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 02 December 2020, 6:51 AM

With almost 14 years of active presence in the metal scene, Greek Progsters NEED were for long the best kept secret of European Prog Metal. But after the critical acclaim of their last, fourth album “Hegaiamas: A Song for Freedom” that was released in the beginning of 2017, they undertook some massive touring efforts. Now they are back with a new album titled “Norchestrion: A Song for the End,” which contains nine tracks.

“Avia” leads off the album. It opens with soft tones and dreamy vocals. The guitar riff is really strong, as are the bass notes. Dexterous time-shifting then begins. Like country mates MOTHER OF MILLIONS, NEED Is equally as good with the heavy parts as they are the lighter parts, and they really know how to build on a melody line. The key solo and piano notes that follow are absolutely catchy and charming. “Beckethead” is a seven-minute beast, opening with some techno sounds and then some lead guitar notes. The vocals are done with harmony and earnest. The heavier passages are quite weighted, and it’s the emotional quality of the music that comes through strong here.

“Nemmortal” features a bit of a heavier groove, still with those Progressive elements in the form of the shifting meter. It also has a catchy chorus and shows some instrumental prowess. “Bloodlux” opens with a faster moving song, and the guitars, bass, and drums work in perfect synchronicity. The vocals have an edge to them. As the title of the song suggests, it’s darker than previous tracks. The keyboard work here is excellent, and again the band flexes a bit of their high level musicianship. “V.a.d.i.s.” is a shorter, three-minute track that opens with spoken word, that talks about “waiting for the end.” The two subjects have a verbal exchange about whether or not the world already did end.

“Norchestrion” is a nine-minute opus. Beginning with soft and clean guitars, and poignant vocals, there is an air of sadness here. When the main riff drops, it brings a lot of power and might to the song. Stelios really has command of the kit here. It all starts with him. Some harsh vocals also make an appearance here, followed by an ambient passage of beauty. There is also an extended instrumental passage where the guys really put on a display. “Circadian” opens with some serious bass guitar and drum work, giving way to an 80’s type guitar riff that will get your head bobbing. The cadence of the song shifts to and fro, but that center is somehow always found.

“Anake” is just under 19-minutes in length. The first few minutes are soft, as any proper entrance, then you feel like you stepped into a spaceship ready for lift-off. As it begins to pick up, they throw a variety of different elements at you, including another impressive instrumental passage where some really nice melodies take shape. The keyboard solo is fantastic as well as the guitar solo. It culminates with some lamenting sounds. “Kinwind” closes the album; a brief three-minutes of a vocal wind down.

Overall, this was a fantastic album by a group of obviously seasoned veterans that can both compose and play with the best of them, as well as slow down and let wonderful melodies develop. Every member contributes something here and the compositions are tight at times, and loose and flowing at others. The ebb and flow of the album is the real key to their success here. I wouldn’t say it’s a concept album per se, but you could make that argument, especially considering the movement and progression from track to track.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Avia
2. Beckethead
3. Nemmortal
4. Bloodlux
5. V.a.d.i.s.
6. Norchestrion
7. Circadian
8. Ananke
9. Kinwind
Jon V. – Vocals
Ravaya – Guitars
Anthony – Keyboards
Victor – Bass
Stelios – Drums
Record Label: Ikaros Records


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