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Nord – Machine Blood

Nord
Machine Blood
by Issy Herring at 16 May 2022, 2:55 AM

Since their formation in 2013, alternative metal five-piece NORD have definitely evolved. They put out their debut EP back in 2017 titled “Alpha”, recently releasing brand new singles “Seasons Erased” and “Fear Reigns” in early 2022. Both of those tracks are featured on their first album “Machine Blood”, which was released on March 4, 2022, via Inverse Records.

The first track on the album is “Prologue”, which is a beautiful song made up of pure instrumentals; lasting only 1 minute 36 seconds. This is a great introduction for what is to come on the album, really highlighting the serious talent of the musicians in this group. “Left Behind” is up next, which starts off with a slow yet powerful guitar riff, reminiscent of SYSTEM OF A DOWN. However, the striking vocals of Bjarne Broggard Matthiesen soon kick in, transitioning effortlessly between unclean and clean vocal lines. As the track goes on, it gets more and more intense, really giving the listener an intriguing experience from start to finish.

“Fear Reigns” is a very relevant song, lyrically speaking about the current state of society and how it is changing for the worst. It is amazing to hear more alternative bands shouting out about some very important issues and bringing them to attention. The guitar riffs are seriously addictive and progressive in this track, keeping the listener entertained throughout. “Depleted Soil” begins with a great guitar riff, before Matthiesen’s vocals kick in.  In the midst of the track, NORD throw in a belter of a riff, similar to that of STEEL PANTHER, before changing it up yet again. “The Swordsman” changes things up slightly, adding even more energetic riffs into the mix. Both the instrumentals and vocals in this track sound very similar to that of TRIVIUM and their vocalist Matthew Heafy. Interestingly, as the song goes on, it adopts almost a groove metal sound; similar to that of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH. A great song, overall! Next up is “The Run”, which continues with the groove elements throughout. This is one of the heaviest songs on the album in terms of vocals, but it’s definitely not one of the worst! I love how experimental this album gets with every song, with some slight metalcore influences peeking through here. At the very end of the track, the riff sounds just like something EVERY TIME I DIE would have created, but with a little less harshness.

“Endless Stream” is another song which is most certainly riff heavy, to say the least! “Seasons Erased” is intense from the get-go, with a head bopping guitar riff as well as Bjarne Broggard Matthiesen’s unclean vocals grabbing your attention. As with a lot of songs on “Machine Blood”, the instrumentals are constantly changing, really piquing your interest. “Law of Jante” also ups the ante, adding a slightly heavier flavour yet again. The clean and unclean vocals are effortless throughout the track, adding excitement for the listener every second. Nearing the end of the song, the spoken vocals sound almost identical to that of COREY TAYLOR from SLIPKNOT. The title track “Machine Blood” is the second to last song on the album. This track appears to have some older influences from 70s and 80s metal groups like KISS and IRON MAIDEN. “Epilogue” is the last track on the release, which is another stunning instrumental. It marks the end of the album perfectly, with the gentle guitar riff being really pleasing to the listener.

Overall, “Machine Blood” is a fairly decent metal effort from NORD. Even though the musicianship is clearly evident throughout the release, unfortunately the instrumentals aren’t enough to carry the majority of the songs through. While the riffs are most certainly likely to get you moving, the lyrics don’t really match up, sadly.

Songwriting: 4
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 5
Production: 7

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Prologue
2. Left Behind
3. Fear Reigns
4. Depleted Soil
5. The Swordsman
6. The Run
7. Endless Stream
8. Seasons Erased
9. Law of Jante
10. Machine Blood
11. Epilogue
Lineup:
Bjarne Broggard Matthiesen – Vocals
Niels Thybæk-Hansen – Guitar
Thomas Bøgh Jensen – Guitar
Peter Littau – Bass
Rune Kolsbjerg Hansen – Drums
Record Label: Inverse Records
     


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Edited 10 December 2022
 

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