TERRA ODIUM – Ne Plus Ultra

Formed from the ashes of Spiral Architect, Terra Odium is a prog metal band from Norway. Their debut album features some strong technical playing displayed across seven lengthy arrangements. For the more forgiving fans of the style, this will be enough for ‘Ne Plus Ultra’ to be reasonably entertaining. For other listeners who expect flashy solos and other indulgences to be balanced out by memorable songs and important things like actual melodies, the near-hour of relentless riffing will wear thin rather quickly.

Unfortunately, despite very obviously being able to play, Terra Odium also seem painfully unaware of most of the genre’s developments in the twenty first century. This album shows no obvious knowledge of the dark riffs of Awooga, the technical mechanics of Tool or even the complexities of a newer breed such as TesseracT. There are a few fantastically heavy moments that show a modicum of bravery – especially for a band signed to a melodic rock label – but approximately half of the material merely beavers away relentlessly, as if played by men with beards and leather trousers who still consider Symphony X’s ‘The Odyssey’ – at this point almost twenty years old – to be ground breaking.

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Check out the new video from Norwegian black metal band Mork

Norwegian black metal band Mork return in March 2021 with their fifth full lrngth album, ‘Katedralen’. Ahead of the album, the band have shared a new video clip for the lead single ‘ARV’, which contrasts fairly typical scratchy vocals with a Sabbathy doom riff to create an intense slab of extreme Scandinavian metal.

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ORIONS BELTE – Mint

Finding a sound somewhere between a sixties surf band, easy listening library music, Saint Etienne’s quirky instrumentals and Air, Norway’s Orions Belte make neo-psych pop and downtempo sounds that totally mess with the fabric of time. Their debut album ‘Mint’ plunges the listener into downbeat moods that seem to constantly waver back and forth between sixties kitsch and mellow alt-pop from the 90s mellow pop. Occasionally, it’s as if things are deliberately presented at the wrong tempo, but the results are always finely crafted.

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Mayflower Madame unveil atmospheric black and white video for ‘Before I Fall’

Combining elements of post-rock with a little shoegaze and a world of neo-pychedelia, Oslo’s Mayflower Madame may seem retro, but with fellow Norwegians Spielbergs mining similarly swirling and dense sounds, their sound is also hugely contemporary.

In May 2018, they unveiled their ‘Premonition’ EP and as part of the ongoing promotion for that release, they’ve now shared a new video for ‘Before I Fall’, which you can now watch in full below.

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SPIELBERGS – Distant Star EP

One of the best things to come out of 2018, Spielbergs are the best band from the 90s you’ve never heard. Their debut EP ‘Distant Star’ is also the first release on a small UK indie label, By The Time It Gets Dark, and between them, they have a potential classic on their hands. This EP is a real adrenalin hit for anyone who loved shoegaze and goth sounds in the 90s; a sharp reminder – if needed – that they do make them like they used to. It’s the kind of release that could make similar bands raise their eyebrows, give a collective shrug and throw in the towel. This might sound like mere hype, but frankly, ‘Distant Star’ really is that good.

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