Nordicwinter – Sorrow (Review)

Nordicwinter - SorrowThis is the fourth album from Canadian one-man black metal act Nordicwinter.

After enjoying 202’s Desolation, I was pleased to see another work from this artist so quickly. Sorrow contains 53 minutes of atmospheric/depressive black metal.

No secret – I’m a big fan of this sort of style, especially when it’s done as well as it is here. The well-written music on Sorrow just oozes depth and quality, and the artist behind this band has produced something rewarding here. The new material is longer than it was on the previous album, and the time is well-used to craft expansive, immersive pieces of blackened art.

The music focuses on atmosphere and depth over traditional song structures and catchiness, and in this it excels. I find Nordicwinter’s music effortlessly absorbing and instantly captivating, but it’s over time as you really start to get to know the music that Sorrow‘s quality is truly revealed.

The style is slow and deliberate, never really rising above mid-paced. This allows the songs to develop desolate mood and dark atmosphere incredibly well. Keyboards contribute a great deal to this too, adding an extra layer of texture to the songs that is highly effective. The blackened melodies are compelling, yet subtle, shaping the listener’s awareness and experience without ostentation or showboating. The music is drenched in doom influences too, making for a truly downbeat, compelling journey through the running time.

The vocals are perfectly executed high-pitched screams that seem to both merge with the music and strike out from it. They seems to crackle and play over the surface of the songs like lightning over storm clouds.

Sorrow is an exceptional release for fans of doomy, desolate, atmospheric black metal to get their teeth into. It confirms what I thought about Desolation; here’s an artist to pay very close attention to.

Essential listening for connoisseurs of the style.

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