Review: Nordland ”European Paganism”

Review: Nordland ”European Paganism”

- in Reviews

Nordland- European Paganism

The very title of this release signals its intent right from the off as UK solo project Nordland pin their heart to the pagan pole.

Putting aside the irrelevant debate as to whether a three-tracker constitutes an album or EP, what isn’t up for discussion as the way in which the 27 minute opus ”The Mountain” casts an enormous shadow over this release like… yep, a mountain.

Brave, ambitious, foolhardy, well you can decide that for yourself. But unlike many lengthy compositions which tend to go through introspective wallowing to pass the time, Nordland rarely pause for breath during The Mountain.

Blackened aggressive riff patterns dominate the charred landscape, supported by pummelling drumbeats and a scorched style of vocals that suggests this fella is in urgent need of a glass of water.

The tempo is mixed although never really slacks off, certainly this is not a doom record. While pagan spirits and idylls inspire this release, the sound is essentially black metal. It is a dark record but not one without shards of light. Melodies and creative riff patterns abound and all of this is on The Mountain’ alone, an exhaustive project that almost demands you pause for breath once crossing the finishing line.

 ‘A Burning of Idols follows the same pattern, some rousing riffage adding pagan spirit to the cold wind that blows through its core. There is a raw hunger here, the pace feisty but without being frantic. Final number Rites at Dawnis closer to a sprint than a marathon but within its five-minute duration captures a more resolute Nordland, meandering through the barren lands to the backdrop of a cutting groove that furrows into your brain.

As stated at the start, what makes European Paganism all the more remarkable is that this is the one-man project of Vorh and as such is similar in tone and spirit to the likes of Drudkh.


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About the author

Living in the 'birthplace of metal' - Birmingham, UK - Paul Castles has been covering the extreme metal scene for many years.

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