"The Feast is a fifteen-minute epic, that stretches it’s brilliance across many musical styles, incorporating some off beat melodies and prog-fuelled hooks that are sewn together seamlessly creating a mass tapestry of genre-defining sections. Like a thread being fed through the eye of a needle, patience and precision has been used to blend all these classic styles, from early rock progressions and bass-beaten riffs, right through to Floyd-esque swells"
Since their self-titled debut release back in 2018 and their follow up album Omission in 2019, Noorvik have sculpted and chiselled out a bitter-cold slab of progressive, stoner inspired post-metal. The music, along with the artwork had the listener frost bitten and frozen in time. Its glacial and bone-chilling imagery reflected the music through its iceberg sized riffs, and blizzard-blanketed layers of guitars, bass and drums.
Three years on and Noorvik have taken on a concept that couldn’t be further from what has preceded it. Parching heat, blistering sand and Greek pillars of power fortify a Greek tragedy that in time, could have history repeat itself, such is the inevitable consequences of our actions today.
Hamartia tells the story of a king, Tantalos, who realizes the consequences of his actions and in the end falls from his throne. This musical journey tells of how man’s greed and arrogance sow the seeds of his own downfall. Narcissism and egotism outshine the pristine beauty of the world and the innocence of its inhabitants. Let us sit back and let the music of Noorvik tell the story.
The opening track on the album is Tantalos, is a mellow and chilled acoustic hook that opens into a post-metal riff that maintains the melody and that rich, broody bass line. As the track heats up, the pace and tempo shifts with a more aggressive and inflamed rhythm section that takes many forms, ranging from sludge-soaked riffs to a stoner driven cadence, all with a musical phrasing that’s catchy and is forever etched deep into the memory.
Next up is Hybris, and it opens with a gorgeous plucked acoustic intro that swirls and suspends overhead with deep prog-infused elements that are greatly enhanced by a soaring acid-soaked lead guitar. It’s rich, warm tapestry of sound slowly builds with the help of heavy riffs that hang in the air before eventually getting swallowed up by a trippy solo that sedates everything around it. Its psychedelic vibe is as powerful and as addictive as any hallucinogenic drug. Simply put, Hybris is a delicious piece of music that I could listen to over and over again.
Omonoia is a hypnotic and sedating passage of music that numbs and transfixes the listener before seamlessly rolling into the next track Ambrosia. Its breezy and delicate intro is beautifully paced and cleverly builds ever so slowly, as each layer is spread evenly and methodically over the next. However, this album is awash with carefully placed nuances and subtleties, and because of these, the music takes an intuitive twist, dropping to the floor with its power-driven doom riffs and its gritty bass chords, all orchestrated by some crushing percussions that pound and kick through the dirt. Another psychedelic dip in the track momentarily calms things before the track’s crescendo opens up and thunders to the end with grit and determination.
The Feast is a fifteen-minute epic, that stretches it’s brilliance across many musical styles, incorporating some off beat melodies and prog-fuelled hooks that are sewn together seamlessly creating a mass tapestry of genre-defining sections. Like a thread being fed through the eye of a needle, patience and precision has been used to blend all these classic styles, from early rock progressions and bass-beaten riffs, right through to Floyd-esque swells. Noorvik have moulded this mammoth track that shapes and shifts at every opportunity, all the time building in intensity and substance right through to its colossal epilogue.
More dreamy guitars wash over you on Aeon, taking you back to Fleetwood Mac’s gorgeous Albatross with its reflective qualities that hypnotise and transcend the listener to another place. Atreides however, is a different beast and opens with a vicious riff that punches the air in victory, as it’s joined by a cavalry of drums and bass. The track meanders through resonant lead solos and some of the best baritone-like bass lines I’ve heard in a long while. The track has a groove and a swagger that oozes brashness and just the right amount of exhibitionism!
The closing track, and the aptly named Tartaros is a twelve-minute master class of power and progressive lashings, that bombards and attacks in a post-metal assault, relentlessly churning out riff after riff and embellishing them with an atmosphere that’s as dark and abhorrent as the story it narrates.
Noorvik has delivered an album that is a story perfectly chronicled through a prog-rock and post-metal feast. It isn’t any wonder that Noorvik haven’t released an album in three years, when you see and hear the tale that unfolds before you on Hamartia. This album is titanic, and it has redefined and, in my opinion, reshaped the band. Every current fan will love this, but I believe they have also opened the floodgates to new followers too. Superb.