In the summer of 2020 the solo atmospheric/depressive black metal band Nordicwinter from Quebec, Canada (which was originally founded by evillair in 2006) self-released in limited fashion a new album named Desolation. That album seized the attention of Hypnotic Dirge Records, who in mid-January of this year gave it a more expansive release in a 6-panel digipack CD edition. But it turns out that this re-issue was also a precursor to the label’s plans for a further Nordicwinter release.
That next release is a new Nordicwinter album entitled Sorrow. As Hypnotic Dirge faithfully explains: “Laden with haunting melodies and cryptic vocals, Nordicwinter creates music that is crafted to obliterate all remnants of light and hope leaving only despair and death”. As a sign of how true those words are, we are today premiering a lyric video for the record’s opening track, “Somber Winds of Despair (Part I)“, in advance of its March 26 release.
The brittle, glittering arpeggio that opens the song, backed by the slow, mournful sound of swelling strings, creates an impression that is both entrancing and desolate, but the song soon becomes immense in its scale and sweep, and even more soul-baring and soul-shattering in its despondency. Mountainous drum blows shake the spine and rattle the skull, and the larynx-lacerating vocals are frighteningly intense; the shrieking pain they radiate is matched by the utter hopelessness of the lyrics.
As the vastness of the song continues to unfold, the melodies become chasm-deep in their grief but panoramic in their scale. The ringing riff that eventually takes the spotlight (and reappears later) is magnetic in its attraction, providing a glimmer of brightness and perhaps even a faint hint of hope. A mid-song interlude recalls the entrancing melancholy sensations of the opening, accented again by the soulful tones of violins as well as by the sparkle of piano keys.
What follows, when the sound surges once more, is a more tormented and anguished experience, but the immense sweep of the music magnifies again in grand, glorious, and gut-wrenching waves, backed by tumultuous kick drums, titanic booming detonations, and those terrifying vocals screaming words of surrender and despair.
It’s very easy to become submerged and immersed in the song, notwithstanding how crushing it is in its channeling of misery, and it may take some time to get a grip on yourself again.
The release date for Sorrow, as mentioned, is Friday, March 26. Adorned by an edited photo originally taken by Melissa Parker, it will be available digitally and in a 4-panel digipack CD edition with an 8-page insert. In addition to the CD, there will also be hoodies, shirts, and bundles available, which will be revealed soon, along with pre-order information.
STREAM / BUY DESOLATION:
1 – Somber Winds Of Despair (Part I)
2 – Sullen Echoes
3 – In This Darkness…
4 – This Mournful Dirge
5 – Dying Winters
6 – Somber Winds Of Despair (Part II)
7 – Enshrined By Solitude (instrumental)