Nornes – Vanity (2018)

NORNES associates musicians with very different universes, from Folk Rock to Deathgrind, through Industrial Metal and Triphop. A very fledgling project but composed of experienced musicians with a common passion: Doom. France brings together only few groups of this scene – in the traditional division – so when one of them comes to set up we become curious; remember ECCLESIA, already reviewed in the laboratory. But let us return to our northerners and Vanity as their first painting, depicting existence’s emptiness.

Those music lovers seem to be very well acquainted with the terrain on which they venture. The three forthcoming tracks are tidy and well structured. The quartet sublimates without difficulty a Traditional Doom Metal – including its clear song and its slow and atmospheric aesthetic – with a much more Funeral Doom, defined by grunts and riffs just as slow but much more marked by the massiveness of the bass.

With two guitarists in the band it would have been, however, interesting to hear more distinctively a separation between them, like in the vocal duality with its clean and guttural singings that bring a little variation both narrative and musical. The music would gain by having powerful soli like SATURNUS, and even by pushing a little bit more the high-tone wails in the vein of SOLITUDE AETURNUS. Through an Ocean of Despair goes that way but struggles to break this restraint. The group should thus gain in depth by making better use of the fact that it involves two guitars and two distinct voices, in order to make the best of its cabapility.

What NORNES brings us is an authentic Doom which still needs to make its feet. The Valenciennois have shown with Vanity that they had the necessary weapons to get tough. Now their influences remain to be overcame and they have to compose from themselves heavy songs of nostalgia, desolation and introspection.

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