These melodic Doomsters hail from Valenciennes in Northern France and take their inspiration from none other than Candlemass with what sounds like more recent Alcest too.
This four track E.P. is a continuation of ‘Vanity’ which came out two years ago.
The band have an arsenal of heavy clean riffs which ooze sadness throughout the opening track “Hurt” with pained clean and clear vocals leaving the listener in no uncertainty as to how bad things are.
“Near Death” opens with a blackened charge and I am expecting some corpse painted shrieks. Instead Nornes have conjured up a delightful mesh of epic melodic Doom with some rasped Doom Death vocals complimenting the clean. Imagine Candlemass meets Crematory. It works. The cymbals are very high in the mix and add some points of light to the sombre tone. This is the sound of a lovelorn young chap gazing out of his window lamenting his lost love. Kinda apt as this is being listened to in lockdown (although my missus is just inside the house). The section at the end has a riff that sounds like it should come from a Subpop band in the late 80’s yet it sidles up nicely to the metallic throng.
The title track is a spoken piece in French over an acoustic bassline and industrial sounds and a woman either in dire straits or having a good time. My schoolboy French is not good enough to discern but it is cool and creepy serial killer vibe which builds into a throb.
“Burning Bridges” is the final track of the quartet and adds more death into the doom. Nice PL MDB vibe here. Very gothic overtones both small and large G. Things do get a little garbled midway through with some flangy guitars but the vibe remains pretty strong.
Nornes have created some tasty, melancholia that will certainly keep mouths downturned in a good way.
(6.5/10 Matt Mason)