In 1993, when I was still a rather young lad, I was eager to discover tons of new bands. My hunger for underground acts was never satiated. And
this is how I came acquainted with Nordor
, buying their His Fictitious Grandeur
demo from Osmose
Productions distro mail catalogue. In 2013, 20 years later, nothing has changed that much, I’m still on the lookout for the next interesting underground act and even though I may have put on a few pounds, I still crave new music as I did back then. So when the request to review Nordor
’s Erga Omnes
came in, I got at first very surprised since I thought the band was no more but also delighted to see that Metal
maniacs have such an enduring passion.
Endurance is the word. Though Nordor
released three demos in between 1991 and 1997, the world had to wait till 2008 for a proper debut to be released and another four years for this second record. For a band that was founded in 1989, you could say they like to take their time.
Coming from the glorious early 90s Greek scene, Nordor
was a band playing atypical and satanical Death Metal
where most of its contemporaries were exploring the realms of Black Metal
, etc.). At their beginnings, the band was more versed in building ambiances, a Greek trademark, some 20 years later when people grow old and soft, Nordor
found the extra brutality needed to pep up their music. Maybe the resurgence of Hellenic Death Metal
bands aided by the recent positive development of Dead Congregation
helped shape a whole another new scene there with new horizons to discover.
Now onto the music. I won’t try to bullshit you here. Admittedly, if you take individual tracks from Erga Omnes
and play them “as is”, you will find good brutal Death Metal
, played the old way but adorning modern production. I guess you could think late Behemoth
for comparisons’ sake but then again you could complain it’s been heard a 1,000 times before and that it may sound a tad bit too generic. And
yes, you’d be right. Nordor
’s Erga Omnes
will not redefine the face of Death Metal
, they’re not particularly inventive either but they play honest and sincere Death Metal
Where Erga Omnes
really becomes interesting, it is ONLY when taken as a whole. Much like a concept album, it delivers its whole flavor when played from start to finish. This is so because most tracks are rather short, around 3 minutes and less, and the track listing features many interludes, be it classical music or movie excepts, that really disperse a satanic aura around this whole record. Think I’m wrong? Think again, Androniki from Chaostar
lends her beautiful voice and the grandiose album intro has been created by Septicflesh
’s own Christos. Not mentioning Nightrage
’s guitarist playing guest solo on Bow to Me. Maybe the mastering took some identity away (too many effects on vocals for once), maybe you like stuff that is rawer, more “blasphemous” but I see Nordor
’s own blasphemous message rather in essence than in form. And
each time I’ve played Erga Omnes
since I received it I find myself enjoying it more and more, which can’t be a bad thing.
So it’s not the best album out there but it’s a grower and the fact that because a band, the people behind it, has had such dedication and perseverance to go on and play the music they like is, in this very case, more valuable than the next big hit from whatever trendy label, which none will remember two months later. I will remember Erga Omnes
with all its defaults and all its qualities.