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Nothgard – Malady X

Malady X
by Erik Aikos at 14 November 2018, 10:19 AM

In my mind, there are two types of Melodic Death Metal: One based on atmosphere and emotions (these are shown by a more dominant melodic side, more clean vocals, and a bigger focus on lyricism).  For example, INSOMNIUM and the other, more catchiness-oriented, like The BLACK DAHLIA MURDER. I can’t say I like either one more than the other, I guess it’s really just up to how as a collective they execute their kind of Melodeath. NORTHGARD, our subject here today, leans more towards the catchy, epic side of its sub-genre, with some Viking/Folk-esque influences thrown into their sound.

After a really good intro track, their record "Malady X” starts with basic-but-good riffs, and an overall feel of being for listeners who don’t really want to challenge themselves with the music they listen too. Those people would enjoy this very much. However, I’m not one of those people at all. My biggest gripe with this record is that you can easily predict it after the second of third track. Sure, if you listened to the LP 10 times you could probably tell most of these tracks apart, but in order to be able to differentiate between songs, the listener shouldn’t be expected to invest their all into an album.

But is it catchy? Sure, especially the second (first legit) track, which bears the same title as the record itself. It’s the same as with another band a few weeks back, that band had a song, a pretty good song, but the problem starts when they make an entire record of that one single song.

If you’re a really big fan of Melodic Death Metal, maybe check it out, but if you’re looking for fresh blood, I’d suggest you move along, this isn’t your stop. Oh, and one last piece of advice to the band: Try to incorporate more stringed instruments and folk elements into your music, that would make it stand out a lot more.

Songwriting: 5
Originality: 2
Memorability: 2
Production: 6

2 Star Rating

1. Voyage To Decay
2. Malady X
3. Shades of War
4. Guardians of Sanity
5. Epitaph
6. Deamonium I
7. Serpent Hollow
8. Devil Will Know
9. Fall of An Empire
10. Herald of Death
11. Black Horizon (Instrumental)
12. Eye of An Eye (Bonus Track)
13. Ninja (Bonus Track)
Dom R. Crey - Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Felix Indra - Drums
Skaahl - Guitars
Nico Kolja - Bass  
Record Label: Metal Blade Records


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Edited 29 September 2022

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