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'Echoes Of War' EP
(Morbid Syndicate)
Out now

jools green

Jools Green


‘Nashhorn’, Finland’s Doom/Death Metal five piece’s first EP follows two demos, ‘Long Return March’, released in 2011 and 2012’s ‘Maggots Devour the World’.

Soundwise it’s a much harder punchier sound than a lot death/doom I have heard from Finland which seems to be predominantly the melodic variety. It’s something a little different, and lyrically I think a little unusual for doom/death as their themes are alongside the obvious one of death, more surprisingly as the title illustrates, a strong leaning towards war.

I have no favourite track, but it is a steady offering and the more you listen the more it grows on you so definitely one to persevere with.

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The vocals are deep, not strongly intonated or overly decipherable but they do the job. The drum work is good, not overpowering but makes its presence felt, but the strongest element is the guitar work.

There are melodies subtle enough to make it listenable but without being overly melodic, and varied enough to balance against deep harsh vocals giving good contrast with subtle lead breaks and punchy riffs that are restrained enough to keep a strong doom rich mood. All this is delivered at a slightly slower than mid tempo pace, which added together makes for a great sound.

Opening track ‘The Crucial Attack’ builds with a beautifully melancholic but subtle melody, which goes on to form a melancholic lead repeat further in. It’s balanced with slightly bleak rather than doomy Death Metal riffs that have a dirty chug to their delivery, along with bass work that verges on the darkly groovy. There’s a good amount of depth to the guitar work going on here and on the subsequent tracks.

‘Towards Sinister‘ has a dark, ominous and doomy, almost blackened opener, switching to short punchy riffing to accompany the growls and maintaining a steady pace throughout, with a couple of lead work breakouts. There’s also a nice low pummelling undercurrent to the drum work here and the vocals have much more variety and inflection.

After the sinister riffing that turns darkly melancholic on the opening on ‘Birds of Pray’ an impressive gut wrenching vocal roar stops you in your tracks, the higher backing vocals of the repeat add extra dimension also.

‘Catastrophic Kill’ has a melancholic beauty to its lead work and riffs that contrast well beside the growls; it’s surprisingly melodic in comparison to the other tracks.

Final offering ‘Horns of Victory’ is a bleak, classic, chugger of a track, with equally bleak bursts of melodic lead work breaking it up nicely, with the vocal growls keeping the whole sound well grounded in the brutal.

If you have a penchant for the bleak and deathly, ‘Echoes of War’ may well be of interest to you, it’s certainly a haunting offering that stays in your mind long after you finish listening.

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