2/27/2004 - Review by: Eric Compton
Nordheim - Total War 2004 Marquee Records - Reviewed by EC
With the new year upon us, Nordheim have returned with their sophomore effort, an EP entitled "Total War", which features three new tracks, a cover tune, and four live cuts. This new EP recalls all of the classy metal moments of the debut, but seems to have added more death growls this time around. With opening track "Total War", the band go at it aggressively, with plenty of death chants, with vocalist Oliva emerging from the madness in grand fashion, rising from the ashes with his strong metal voice, leaving the death growls as an afterthought. "Total War" rages on, with quality riffs-a-plenty, bringing NWOBHM to front among a garbled mass of inhuman growls. With the opening track, Oliva is in full control, but the cookie monster growls stay throughout, something that the songs on the debut didn't do, normally losing the growls a minute or two in.
Second track "Hell On Earth" is a teutonic ripper, mixing in the old sounds of Germany with the sounds made famous by mid-era Savatage and most recently Circle II Circle, a sound that reaches its heaviest moments but slows down for the softer keyboard touches. I loved it when Savatage did it and I absolutely adore it here, with Nordheim playing the part they were meant for; classic metal traditionalists combining modern elements from almost every metal genre. Innovative and unique, Nordheim rule the metal wastelands, picking up here and there, and forming a creative fortress with the pieces, a chosen home for all to come and enjoy. "The Clash Of Steel" follows with the fastest cut, blazing along like early Iced Earth, early Helloween, and Running Wild in its prime, hitting everything on target. Again, the black soul emerges here, with plenty of black metal growls bellowing from the beast.
The band stops to visit New Wave Of Belgian Heavy Metal gods Killer with a cover of "Shockwaves", a down and dirty metallic approach that steams forth like a locomotive, out of control and raging full speed ahead. Four live cuts appear on the end, "River Of Death", "Raining Fire", "Hammer Of Gods", and "The Metal March", each song showcasing the band's live appeal, capturing every great moment from the band's debut, hitting home the fact that Nordheim could be the new leaders of metal, no matter what genre. These guys mean serious business, and respect their elders, a rare find indeed!
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