Nordicwinter - La dernier adieu

30 Oct 2021 - Knut

Atmospheric Black Metal/Depressive Black Metal | Pest Productions | Release date: 30 Oct 2021

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On this release, the second from Nordicwinter this year, evillair has turned his personal sorrow and grief into a universal musical expression of agony which will resonate with listeners. The music is shaped from the loss of his mother some years after his father passed and expressed through emotional melodies, a void too deep to fill. The way he uses this Black Metal style as an outlet for these feelings is as remarkable as it is moving.

The cover on the album is a painting by the English painter Walter Langley and titled Never Morning Wore to Evening but Some Heart Did Break. This is a line from the poem In Memoriam by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Furthermore, the lyrics on this album, which is a memorial for his parents, has lyrics from poems by French poets which range in theme from the foreboding of death to the last moment when one, if it is possible, can utter their final goodbye.

The first song ”Le Corbillard” (The Hearse) starts with acoustic instruments and synths; a cello plays a calm melody. Suddenly the whole soundscape is shattered by a crescendo of atmospheric metal guitars with screaming vocals buried in the abyss of the dark sonics. A short melodic guitar solo abruptly interjects the crescendo, introducing the melody that will follow us in different shapes throughout the album. Strangly, the guitar sounds like the longing solo guitar that breaks up Uriah Heep´s longest track ”Salisbury”. The mournful music rises again while the foreboding of demise haunts our minds. The song quiets down and from that mellowness things take a quiet turn, recalling its beginning, but soon the tempo returns to the crescendos of Atmospheric Metal with heavy guitars dominating the sonics. It strikes me more than once on this album, that this mighty and multilayered panoramic music could have been arranged for a symphonic orchestra.

”La Nuit” is a showcase of how masterfully evillair composes memorable melodies. With slow and heavy guitar-riffs over bass and drums, the melody develops the sadness that surrounds this album further. And as was the case with Nordicwinter´s last album Sorrow, this melody will linger in your head long after you have turned off your player.

As the song develops the tempo increases into a fast rhythm until it is halted by a mellow piano that gives some time for reflection before a new onslaught of heavy riffs leads the music towards the theme’s melody again and the song fades into the next song, ”Adieu This is a fast song with the drums almost in blast mode helped by heavy bass and riffing. The vocals are almost desperate with anguish. Over the sonics the melodic theme drifts in and out. The song is like a musical expression of “Rage, rage against the dying of light” from the poem Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night by Dylan Thomas.

”Je n’ai plus que les os” (I only have the bones left) starts calm with acoustic guitar and cello accompanied by thunder and synths sounding like a choir. There is a build up with atmospheric guitar riffs, slow drums and bass and the vocals again lay an extra layer of sound to thicken the atmosphere. Through the heavy sonics the melodic theme sometimes breaks through as a metaphor that the final goodbye is close. The drums and bass hammer in the truth of the final moments of life before a cello accompanied by thunder ends the song in the same mellowness as it began.

With the heavy melodic riffing and soaring vocals sometimes broken by reflective ambient sonics with choir ”La mort des amants” (The death of lovers) is a song about those who will be left behind after the individual has taken the last breath. It is, as the other, played with a heavy atmospheric beauty that might in the coming years inspire many musicians.

At the funeral, ”Le dernier adieu” (The last farewell), we are left only with the memories, reflecting on a life that is over. This track begins with acoustic guitar and a cello before the passionate and sorrowful music is lifted by heavy riffs, bass, drums and the desolate screams. A longing melody, also played with tremolo guitar, takes us towards slow spoken words with a sonic background of church bells and thunder. Once more the heavy tremolo riffing elevates the sorrow to new heights all the way towards an abrupt ending.

It is almost incomprehensible that this incredible album is composed, played and sung by one person, the multitalented Canadian evillair. It is equally remarkable that Nordicwinter has two releases with such high quality in one year. The musical achievement he has managed with this album is also a solace to those who have the same experiences that he expresses through his distinct take on Atmospheric Black Metal.