Oh dear. Not this again! Music that genuinely tickles… no, ravages… my fancy, but is ‘oh so very cumbersome’ to put into words without plummeting into a cesspit of extreme-metal-reviewers’ clichés and ostensibly lazy references. Let us begin by rehashing some basic background, go!
As we find ourselves in the midst of the enduring ‘90s death metal revival, there still remain obscure groups that set themselves apart from the rest. These ‘orchestras’ (as you call them to avoid using the word ‘band’ repeatedly), believe it or not, were actually formed in the bloody ‘90s and are back with a vengeance in the noughty-tens, finally getting some respect goddamnit.
Despite their foundation in 1993, the only remaining original member is bassist Juha Sulasalmi. Having joined in 2002, drummer Per Karlsson’s is the most prolific member, being a part of Die Hard, In Aeternum and Benediction et al., as well as having helped out D666 on a coupl’a tours. The rest of the lineup comprises Christian Strömblad (guitars), Henke Skogg (vocals) and Alexander Lyrbo (guitars).
The above irrelevance aside, let’s talk music.
As you might have picked up, we’re talking blackened death metal, old school (for a lack of a better word) to the bone and intense as fuck. With a running time of just under forty minutes, said intensity never becomes repetitive or mundane, instead tempo-changes are used ever-effectively, waived on by some excellent song-writing.
Within Nominon comes a genuine sense, similar to compatriots Repugnant. Whilst nowhere near the brilliance of ‘Epitome Of Darkness’, the some overall aura is present on ‘The Cleansing’, that spark of Swedish deaththrashing thunder. As with ‘EoD’, the production is somewhat polished on from the early days of Swedish death, however, never clean enough to fall into the bottomless pit of records ruined by awful modern productions.
As you might have guessed, Nominon does not strive for innovation, but one cannot devalue and ignore the sheer quality on ‘The Cleansing’ quite so easily. It would also be unfair to merely brush this aside as a clone, as the overall writing is expertly aware of its heritage. We don’t just get straight forward formulaic DM garbage. The Teuton thrash and first+second wave BM touches are ever present, resulting in a satisfying listening experience (check ‘Mausoleum’, ‘Hellwitch’ etc… you’ll know).
End of the day, however, it’s not entirely clear if the world needed another album like this. Sure, it’s an excellent addition to the growing pool of quality DM out there, but fundamentally outstanding or significantly inspiring, it really ain’t. Without a doubt, that the veterans’ sixth effort is a strong one and lifts them ever closer to the zenith of the Swedish DM scene. A scene that, if nothing happens soon, will experience quite the avalanche of descent. I truthfully wish it’d be possible to review this without references to the scene around them, but it’s quite impossible I’m afraid. Yes, it’s another striking full-length from Nominon and an impressive to add to the bag of… well, myriad other impressive Swedish death metal bands.
( 7.5/10 Miika Virtanen)