Norhod is a new Italian symphonic metal band from Lucca, Tuscany. They were formed in 2009 as a 4-piece band and they soon started writing their first songs. After new members additions and several changes, the band finally completed its line-up in 2011, consisting of 7 musicians that remain the same till today. They finally self-released their debut EP “Arianrhod” in the beginning of 2012. The band signed then to WormHoleDeath, an Aural Music sub-label and on October 2013 they released their debut full-length album “The Blazing Lily“.
This album includes all 5 songs of the EP, re-recorded and re-arranged of course, plus 6 new compositions with a total playtime a little over 46 minutes. The band plays symphonic metal with the typical contrast of growls and female vocals, combined with melodic black death metal, folk metal and progressive metal. They have an excellent professional mainstream production and a great powerful bombastic sound. Their guitars are quite dominant in their music, with a very technical sound and many beautiful solos, while synths have a more accompanying melodic role, sometimes with a more symphonic approach and other times used as a classical piano. The band often changes its mood, moving from tranquil acoustic moments to extreme metal outbursts, keeping at the same time a very solid atmosphere. The addition of epic and folk elements worked very good in my opinion, making their compositions much more interesting. Clara Ceccarelli’s vocals have a characteristic color, since her voice is deeper than the usual operatic vocals of the genre, while Giacomo’s brutal vocals are moving between black metal screams and death metal growls, much more extreme than the typical “Gothic” male vocals. Norhod’s lyrics are all in English dealing with dark fantasy tales and you can find them in the CD booklet.
Overall I found “The Blazing Lily” a very satisfying debut album, with excellent technical details and many great melodies. I believe though that Norhod still need more work in order to make something more personal and distinctive, since they chose to “serve” an over-exhausted music genre. Fans of symphonic melodic extreme metal should definitely check them, anyway. “The Blazing Lily” is released by WormHoleDeath in a jewel case edition with a 12-page booklet, illustrated by Rhett Podersoo at Machine Room. You can check their music in the band’s official pages below, or watch the video clip for the song “Fading With the Dark“.