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Northmaan - Northmaan Award winner

by Patrick McMahon at 19 March 2021, 8:46 AM

NORTHMAAN, a solo project from a name well known to the music world, is representing alternative metal as a “shotgun greeting to the current listening world” and I could not be any happier about it. After watching his industry become a “commercial embarrassment”, it couldn’t be helped that Jayce Lewis (who has worked with the likes of QUEEN and FEAR FACTORY) would put his mark on the music industry. With a great many topical notes among the tracks, this is the modern metal we all hope for.

A single track hit in itself, “Self Destruct” leads us in to this sound scape with a grind. The track is volatile, in a word. It moves back and forth through a nasty heavy emphasis and alternative drone, remaining fresh and powerful from front to back. Right down to the attack of the guitar pick this track screams aggression. At a blaring six minutes, trust me that you want to hold out until the conclusion. Industrial notes open this as a genre bending work and paint a picture of peace among the aggression. The transition in to “Rage Trigger” is smooth, with some of the first track hanging over to open. The track begins with lighter hits and just a dull spoken verse, that walks up slowly to a scream and open chorus that will echo in me for a long while. The instrumental pieces are not to be overlooked in these tracks, but everything seems so effortless and put together that it is almost rude to talk one part without the others.

My go to track for this piece is “Persevere”, beginning on a sweet and dissonant picked out chord. The heavy of the track is abundant after its melody, with beautifully timed hits and chorus groove that really stick out. While it remains cohesive with the rest of the album, I feel that this stand out takes its commanding lead with haunting vibe and aggressive, thoughtful lead guitar segments. The album ends with yet another six minute work on “Tolerate”. The deep vocal drone of this track somehow embodies a didgeridoo, which is both unusual and comforting. The drums carry this track through, deserving note for their spectacularly primal feeling. The outro to the track is quiet and peaceful, bringing an end to the pure chaos that just ensued throughout this album.

All things considered, this release from a one man band had me jamming out from front to back. I could not hope for better work, and must classify it as an absolute masterpiece. Go check this thing out as soon as possible.

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

5 Star Rating

1. Self Destruct
2. Rage Trigger
3. Persevere
4. Torture Fist
5. Dying Star
6. Tolerate
Jayce Lewis - Everything
Record Label: Devfire Entertainment


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Edited 01 February 2023

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