NORD: Säulen der Schöpfung (2017)
“A mix of Berlin & French Schools united to this prog rock that Nord has developed since a couple of albums and you have here a nice cocktail of genres in a very good album”
1 Säulen der Schöpfung 9:54 2 7000 Lichtjahre 10:50 3 Dunkelwolken 10:04 4 Sternwind 9:06 5 Der Adler im Nebel 9:54 Nord Music
(DDL 49:48) (VF)
(Electronic Progressive Rock)
Always inexhaustible, Sztakics István Attila's imagination works relentlessly to polish up his style and his instruments for the delights of his fans and for the new ones who would be tempted by his skillful mixture of floydian progressive rock and of good old Berlin School. SÄULEN DER SCHÖPFUNG is Nord's 4th album in 2017. It pulls its inspiration from the Pillars of Creation (from where the title); a famous photograph taken by the Hubble Space Telescope of elephant trunks of interstellar gas and dust in the Eagle Nebula in April 95. The music? Nord was inspired by the Berlin School model purely and simply, from where the titles written in German. But Berlin School? I believe that Mr. Attila forgot that he drags in his musical arsenal since some albums a propensity to make progressive rock …
The title-track begins with powders of stars of which the dusty prisms float with waves of a synth still inoculated by organ layers. A line of bass sequences skips in the background and dances with great percussive effects. That actually sounds Berliner with this overture which starts from nothing and creates a floating movement which goes adrift with a certain swiftness without wanting to assault its tranquility. The organ waves are intrusive. The race of the rhythm and its undulations of grass-snake remains always attractive. A keyboard loosens delicate harmonies around the 3rd minute. Their aerial capers come up against a heavy riff which resounds a few seconds farther. Superb, this synth releases very nice solos, as well as layers of mystic mists, on a movement of increasing but always undulating rhythm. In fact, it's the heavy riffs that feed the stormy approach of Säulen der Schöpfung which eventually explodes with a strong electronic progressive rock in the Pink Floyd tradition which is hammered by a furious drum and charmed by synth solos as much stylized as those of Rick Wright. The recipe is good, why not exploiting it yet with 7000 Lichtjahre? Its introduction takes its roots in a sharp movement of hopping sequences. Lunar and dreamy, the synth sounds much like Jean-Michel Jarre. The rhythm eventually becomes more elegant with percussions which guide it towards a rock moderated by great waves of a cosmic synth, like the beautiful years of the French School.
Dunkelwolken remains comfortably nested in this style with a soothing structure of rhythm, even if it which bronzes itself of these good synth caresses coming from Orion and elsewhere from within the cosmos. With its rhythmic approach molded by minimalist oscillating waves, Sternwind is good to our ears, more by its very beautiful fluty song than its rhythm. Cut in oscillating sequences, this rhythm gains more strength but keeps the same form with very good dramatic effects (tympani drums rolling like in good Vangelis) that will never reach the emotive precision of this wonderful charming flute. Der Adler im Nebel ends SÄULEN DER SCHÖPFUNG with another ambient and motionless approach. A thick cloud of sequences, assembled like perpetual riffs, fly lightly beneath the songs of a synth as heart-rending than nostalgic. Like each of the structures in this album, Nord blows the ambient and the rhythm with good implosions and explosions where other sequences and percussions light a delicious discord that always finds its way to get harmonize. It should be noted that Sztakics István Attila uses here samplings of voices speaking in Cherokee.
In spite of an avalanche of albums available only on the Internet, Nord always manages to maintain a level of very acceptable interest with a well sculptured EM. SÄULEN DER SCHÖPFUNG is no different! There is a good mixture of Berlin School, especially at the level of the sequences, and of French School with cosmic ambiences and harmonies. The aspect prog rock remains very present with flavors of Vangelis in some harmonious arrangements and of Rick Wright in the ferocity of the synth solos. A good album!
Sylvain Lupari (December 5th, 2017) ***¾**
Available at Nord Bandcamp