NORD: Origins (2022)
Updated: Apr 28
“A beautiful album which has all the assets to please his audience”
1 Origins I 10:03
2 Origins II 6:13
3 Origins III 11:19
4 Origins IV 12:30
5 Origins V 7:02
(DDL 47:08) (V.F.)
For another rendezvous with his progressive electronic music (EM) with a symphonic metal flavor, Nord offers an album as seductive as ever, but of which it is necessary to appreciate a slow ambient introduction, so much ORIGINS marine in a slow atmospheric cooking. This new album-download starts with a buzzing wind ejected by hydraulic pushes. Atmospherical, the introduction fills our ears with a swarm of sound effects, borrowed from both electronic and progressive psychedelic worlds of the vintage years, floating on synth waves both dramatic and meditative. Those who appreciated the psychotronic ambient phases of Neuronium will appreciate a little more this slow opening with these waves that embrace each other in a stellar ballet and where our ears, well familiar with Sztakics István Attila's EM, remain on the lookout for a first rhythmic projection. Plump organic arpeggios, sounding like gurgles, link up with the heavy reverberation of these waves to embrace a static waddling movement just after the 3rd minute. We have to wait another minute before hearing a sketch of rhythm zigzagging in this dense fog of reverberations and apocalyptic buzzes. This seductive rhythm for sleepy neurons in this end-of-the-world setting will remain trapped in the fragile balance between the jumps in order to balancing these sequenced keys in a long title designed to make our imagination work as for the cinematographic meanings of the word ORIGINS. Origins II follows this tangent with a slow start sewn into the mystery of the word origin. A delightful melody built on the limpidity of arpeggios starts to waver around the 2nd minute. Welded to this lunar setting, to these cosmic orchestral arrangements and to its diabolical vision à la John Carpenter, a melodious theme also exploited on Pictures from a Distorted Mirror, it comes and goes on 3 occasions always having a little more consistency.
It is from Origins III that this new opus of Nord takes its takeoff. Its first two minutes plunge us in a rather intense atmosphere with crossings and stackings of synth waves with embraces announcing catastrophes, a little bit like the Blade Runner of Vangelis. The sequencer weaves a rhythm line that snakes between these steel blue laments, laying the foundation for a floating rhythm that will mutate into a heavy progressive rock tattooed by hard riffs after the 4th minute. Between these first riffs, the synth strata are waltzing with poetry in an ambient phase pigmented with subtle bass-pulses and cymbal rattles that remind us of where our ears will go. And it is 30 seconds after the 5th minute that percussions, stemming from the Logic Pro X software, and guitar riffs bludgeon these orchestral waves in a furious progressive electronic rock well dosed by good elements of percussions. If Origins III required a slow take-off, Origins IV wastes no time in merging an electronic approach to a progressive one with a superb bouncy structure. The mellotron weaves beautiful fluty voices over a pulsating bass line and spasmodic sequences that flutter over a rather seraphic opening. The sharp synth sounds like some good Edgar Froese on this constantly evolving structure that favors a zigzagging rhythmic movement under an avalanche of guitar solos, from the Roland JD-800, and of synth as well in a second part that blows our mind. The music increases in power and pace with each turn, leading the track to an explosive progressive electronic rock finale with good synth solos and heavy falling chords which bring a good level of intensity before the track dies in an atmospheric finale. Origins V brings us to a more electronic vision with this shy rhythmic movement that delicately puts down a sequence to remove it immediately, a bit like a naked foot on an icy pond, creating these fragile rhythms jumping in a very nice cosmic orchestral haze. Thus, reminding us of all the dimension and the vast possibilities of EM at its best.
Nord being Nord, one cannot be disappointed with ORIGINS. Without adding anything, nor inventing anything to his style, the Romanian musician-composer weaves the lines of a beautiful album which has all the assets to please his audience.
Sylvain Lupari (April 27th, 2022) ***¼**
Available at Nord Bandcamp