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Norrskold - Prisma Aeternus

Prisma Aeternus
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 05 February 2023, 9:25 AM

NORRSKOLD is a one man Swedish melodic death band, the mastermind being the man of the same name.  The project formed in 2012 and “Prima Aeternus” is the third full length album; three EPs have also been released over the years. I’m a sucker for melodic death–always have been, always will be.  Along with Gothic doom, it was one of the first metal genres I got heavily into.  My favorite band, DARK TRANQUILLITY, are the kings of the genre.  So when this came across the promo sheet, I jumped at the chance to get it.  Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed.  While I don’t think it really classifies as the classic “Gothenburg” sound, it does hit all the sweet spots of the genre.

I do appreciate the clean, modern production the album embraces.  This type of production/mix doesn’t always work for other metal genres but with melodeath I almost prefer it because it lets all the melodies and harmonies shine through and that’s what it does for this album as well. The album begins with “Witness The Illusion,” a fast paced track that is full of melodies and riffs over a bed of bass, solid drumming, and high pitched death screams.  The chorus is catchy as well, both the lead guitar and vocals taking point on it.  I love how the bass gets plenty of time to shine as well, the two instruments sharing equal responsibility, which is something a lot of melodeath bands tend to ignore in the modern age of the genre.

The album isn’t all about melodies though.  “Hollow Adoration,”  has a solid rhythm section that keeps the song focused on riffs but yet allows the lead guitar plenty of breathing room to work its magic.  The song gets more intense in the second half and death growls even make an appearance.  The speed is wrapped up around the melodic guitar, making it sound urgent even as it is also very catchy.  Speaking of which, the chorus was in my head for DAYS. “Indifference,” is one of the best songs on the album.  The opening is frantic then the tempo slows, the death growls taking over the song as sorrowful melodies weave through in the background.  This is a great example of how a band can balance lighter and heavier elements into a song without sacrificing either.

Beyond The Night,” and “Only Silence,”  are also burners.  The pacing of the songs and the chunky riffs make them sound more like a modern approach to the genre.  Both songs are not only two of the heaviest ones on the album but also feature some of the best dueling guitar melodies. “Stars To Reside,” is almost five minutes long—and the longest song on the album.  The runtime makes the song a mini epic and more of a focus on the music, especially the beginning which acts as an intro as it spends over a minute building up to the vocals.  I like this idea and it shows that a little longer song allows for more ideas to be fleshed out without feeling tired and overstated. All in all, this is a well done melodic death album and I can’t imagine why fans of the style wouldn’t want to add “Prisma Aeternus” to their collection.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Witness the Illusion
2. This End
3. Hollow Adoration
4. Perfection into Solitude
5. Dissolved
6. Indifference
7. Beyond the Night
8. Only Silence
9. Stars to Reside
Norrskold - Guitars, Vocals, Bass, Drum programming
Record Label: Independent


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