NORDAFROST – Dominus Frigoris (re-release)
Let me start out by saying that Nordafrost, who hail from Germany, are pretty damn underrated in my opinion. This remastered re-release of their first demo-mCD entitled "Dominus Frigoris" is watertight proof that even back in 2002 these guys had something cool to offer the extreme metal underground. What I find even more cool is that this is not simply a re-release of the aforementioned demo, but something more akin to a compilation in that they have included 6 bonus tracks taken from various 7" EPs, compilations, and so on. All in all we are served 12 tracks of well-composed and moody pagan metal that for me, personally, evoke images of wintry landscapes, old battles on the European continent, strength, pride and ancestry among other things. So far, so good.
One of the things that I find most appealing about Nordafrost is their ability to infuse their songs with diversity, not only in terms of tempos and breakdowns and stuff like that, but also in terms of atmosphere in that they often go from the brutal and aggressive parts to these emotional, melodic and sad parts that are really captivating. The sense of melancholy that underlies the whole disc is definitely one of the things that I like the best about it. There`s something convincing, honest and heartfelt about most of the songs that really get to me. Pay attention to songs such as "Battle of the Winterhordes" and "Nocturnal Cult" in order to see what I mean.
Standout tracks on this disc are first and foremost the two tracks off the "The Victorious" EP, which was released by Regimental Records (US) back in 2011. Others include the ones that I mentioned earlier on, namely "Battle of the Winterhordes" and"Nocturnal Cult", as well as "Autumn’s Armageddon" and "Only Shades Remain".
Even though some of the songs date from the late 90ies and others from 2011, you can easily hear that they are all Nordafrost songs. All their trademark melodies and riffs are there, so I guess one could say that the band have developed and defined rather than changed their sound and style throughout the years.
The sound and production could generally speaking have been a bit more bombastic and heavy in my opinion, but let me make it clear that this does not sound like something that was recorded in a bathtub by some pathetic, frustrated teenager. Also, the vocals could have been a bit more diverse in some songs, but this is a minor complaint, however.
All pagan metal fans, and black/death metal fans for that matter, should give Nordafrost and "Dominus Frigoris" a chance. If you’re a greedy or skeptical tightwad then at least check out their "The Victorious" EP and give that one a dozen of spins.
1. Battle of the Winterhordes
2. Lyn og Torden
3. Nocturnal Cult
4. Autumn’s Armageddon
5. Only Shades Remain
6. The Rising
7. Assault (2005, taken from the Unlight split 7" EP)
8. Frozen Paths (2005, only released as a videoclip)
9. Leichenduft (2005, Depression cover, unreleased)
10. The Victorious (2010, from "The Victorious" 7" EP)
11. Through Depths of Cold (2010, from "The Victorious" 7" EP)
12. Frozen Paths 1997 (1997, first Nordafrost song ever conceived, taken from a local compilation)