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“In this vortex of madness, the sands of time run low,” laments Nomad Son on their heavy, doom-laden debut album, “First Light”. The quintet hails from Malta – yes, it turns out they DO have metal in Malta – and while it may take a few listens to get into the album, it’s worth it. The raw energy of the band gives this album the feel of a demo, but not in an amateurish way. If anything, they sound like Black Sabbath accompanied by church organs and a slightly strangled lead singer (again, it takes a while to get used to it, but Jordan Cutajar’s voice perfectly complements the hard-edged riffs.)
The “doom unfolds” with opening track “Forever Twilight” (and yes, that was an allusion to the song’s lyrics), which does a good job of summing up the album as a whole. In some parts it crawls along, but more often it’s driven by catchy vocal melodies and galloping guitars, while describing mankind’s inevitable apocalypse. It’s obvious that guitarist Chris Grech knows his way around a fretboard, but the solo was a bit sloppy, though still good. Yes, these comments apply to much of the album, though there’s enough variety that things don’t get boring or repetitive. Some songs are uncommonly good, such as “Seven Notes in Black” and “Empyrean Fade,” while the excruciatingly slow “The Wraith” misses its mark. The closer, “The Light At The End,” is a ridiculously beautiful, Opeth-esque song about Jesus Christ. Yes, this is a Christian band with occasionally Christian lyrics, but not the kind that are trying to convert their listeners. Just take a deep breath and enjoy the music, as there is much to be enjoyed here.
(Originally published in Destructive Music Webzine: http://destructive-music.com/?p=1634)