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Norhod - The Blazing Lily

The Blazing Lily
by Joellen "FreshMetalGal" Patterson at 02 September 2013, 6:20 PM

After only four years as a band, Italy’s NORHOD along with Wormhole Death Records and renowned mastering-magician, Mika Jussila (Finnvox Studios) has given to us a first EP. Jev Casa is sufficiently menacing and fully antagonistic of the female vocals presented by Clara Ceccarelli. The characters he portrays are fairly hell-bent on ripping to shreds anything she has to say. Most times there is equal play in the vocal dramatics. AMORPHIS, REVAMP and / or SABATON fans may recognize his technique, which is surprisingly controlled and without vocal strain. Ms. Ceccarelli displays a tenderness heard before in Floor Jansen’s balladic moments from her AFTER FOREVER days. One may also hear in her the upper-middle register of Tarja. Michele Tolomei has presented a retrospective of keyboard technique and chord structure of Tuomas Holopainen’s earliest NIGHTWISH work. One might even detect Emppu Vuorinen-esque riffing here and there. Overall, it seems NORHOD is most influenced by the Finns.

“Caer Arianrhod” offers an impressive, driving and dramatic orchestral opening which features a feast of strings, strings, strings…and some drums. “Arianrhod”, the Celtic moon goddess features in two titles of the album. The first taste of Vuorinen licks and Nevalainen-like drums is in “Doomed To Oblivion”. The best vocal balance between Mr. Casa and Ms. Ceccarelli can be experienced here. NORHOD also employs choir-like backing vocals, which we first encounter in “Caer Arianrhod” and then “Fading With The Dark”. It is in this track, as well as “Lily’s Ashes” and “Mirror’s Lady”, that it seems the growling intensity is excessive and overshadows the feeling of the each track, as a whole. Woven into the album’s matrix are some Folkish tributes to nature and her goddesses. “Through The Forest” is the first track that makes this effort known, with an opening of prominent Renaissance (or early Baroque) melody that sallies forth to the end. One would almost expect an entry of madrigal singers. The acoustic segment of “Last Sundown” might even be interpreted as NORHOD’s “The Islander”. In “Arianrhod” it almost sounds like Tarja has joined the crew. “White Spiral” brings us to grand finale with a bold orchestra with the band and closes with a folk acoustic that leaves no doubt of whom they respect as artists and composers.

“The Blazing Lily” is an admirable first EP. Fans of the above mentioned bands and artists, will surely find an aural kindredness. I look forward to seeing where they will go from here. In the meantime, I’m going to listen to “The Blazing Lily” again. Join me, will you?

3 Star Rating

1. Caer Arianrhod (A Moon Tale Pt.1)
2. Doomed To Oblivion (A Moon Tale Pt.2)
3. Illusions Of Infinity
4. Lily's Ashes (A Moon Tale Pt.3)
5. Fading With The Dark
6. Trough The Forest
7. Last Sundown (A Moon Tale Pt.4)
8. Creatures
9. Arianrhod (A Moon Tale Pt.5)
10. Mirrors Lady
11. White Spiral
Clara Ceccarelli - Vocals
Giacomo "Jev" Casa - Growl
Giacomo Vannucci - Guitars
Andrea "Bistru" Stefani - Guitars
Michele Tolomei - Keyboards
Matteo Giusti - Bass
Francesco Aytano – Drums
Record Label: WormHoleDeath Records


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Edited 03 June 2023

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