The Nordic Giants duo, Loki and Roka, are a feast for the ears, the eyes and the soul. Their music has been compared to the likes of Icelandic band Sigur Ros, The Knife and Pink Floyd amongst others. However personally I feel there is no band quite like them.
I was introduced to the Nordic Giants a few years ago and have been hooked ever since. Anyone that knows me will have had my ramblings poured into their lugholes, whilst having various internet devices shoved in their snouts, at some point if not several times over.
Nordic Giants have only released an EP and singles to date so I was on the edge of my seat to learn that they were due to release an album and near on fell off when I got tickets to see them live in Manchester. So you can only imagine my utter serene calmness when I received an early release of their debut album, A Seance of Dark Delusions, to review.
The duo are expressed in the form of mythical creatures, hunched and covered in feathers. Their whole production is set to play on all the senses with blacked out stages drenched in lingering fogs, accompanied by cinematic brilliance with short, award wining, films streamed in the background on a white screen framing their obscure silhouettes.
The Nordic Giants are heavily instrumental with guitar, drums, keyboard and brass and occasionally feature spoken audio or singers as an accompaniment.
I was expecting great things from this team of inspirational dreamers and I was not disappointed.
A Seance of Dark Delusions is different to the Nordic Giants I have grown accustomed to and feels slightly softer in tone and features a string of artists; Saturday Sun (‘Dissolve’), Nadine Wild Palmer (‘Futures Dark’), Freyja (‘Give Flight To The Imagination’), and Beth Cannon (‘Rapture’). This is not to say Nordic Giants have lost their edge as it is very much still at large.
The album kicks off with Elysian Dreams. A song of epic proportions to open with that pricks your ears and makes you aware, that even with the soft hum of the intro, you are about to experience something amazing. The hallowing tones of the singers mixed with the electronic setting and stringed instruments takes you on an uplifting journey pulling you gently along into the more monumental piano echos, instantly recognisable as the Nordic Giants, of Evolve Or Perish.
Evolve or Perish is probably one of my favourite songs on the album as it goes back to what makes the Nordic Giants so unique for me. That spoken audio, similar to that found on ‘Together‘, that makes you feel like you are experiencing something important, like you belong, like you need to sit up and listen as purposeful piano notes ring high engaging and firing you up whilst strong thought provoking words reverberate around your skull.
‘Evolve or perish, grow up or die, an entirely new level of human consciousness, is needed right now, or we all all dead’.
The album, explores the softer tones of Nordic Giants and Rapture displays this with the angelic tones of Beth Cannon. Her operatic voice moves freely between a haunting wallowing to calm serene in effortless bellows, like a calm sea that currently gains strength and rises up to crash against itself. This song feels almost holy and works beautifully with other tracks such as Give Fight To The Imagination which features the delicate pitches of Freyja. I love the simplicity of this song with Freyjas voice cutting through a strange siren, almost calling the peace, Nordic Giants stripped back at their best.
I love the elecro vibe of Futures Dark, progressively bringing you up before cutting out dead to make way for the edgy vocals of Nadine Wild Palmer broken only by kick ass drumming to beat you into a small frenzy. This is another favourite on the album and one I can fully imagine myself standing with my head fully back, an arm reaching for the night sky, with the other wrapped lovingly around a friends neck, whilst we belt our deaf tones into the world fully being in the moment.
Black Fold starts with dark sirens, keyboard drawls and horns guiding you into the more serene tones of A Thousand Lost Dreams. This song reminds me of when you come to the end of a massage and they play you a relaxing melody to lull you into that last moment of dream state, signifying the end. However Nordic Giants give you a good gentle slap awake with a little more fire to end the perfect journey.
That is what I love about the Nordic Giants, they take you on a journey with every single song. Whether you are visually taken with watching the short films, lying with your eyes closed or playing the songs with friends, the setting is irrelevant, the power of the music is enough.
This album is certainly going to be on regular repeat for me, so watch out friends, album coming to your snouts soon!
For the rest of you, not only would I recommend that you buy this album, or even better pre-order it here, but also that you go to watch this amazing band live. Not only will your ears holes thank you but it will be an experience you will never forget.
I for one can not wait to see the visual beauty that is going to accompany what is already set to be a great album.
NORDIC GIANTS TOUR DATES
03/05 – Brundenell, Leeds
04/05 – Village Underground, London
05/05 – Deaf Institute, Manchester
06/05 – Cottiers Theatre, Glasgow
08/05 – Contemporary, Nottingham
09/05 – Concorde 2, Brighton
10/05 – The Lantern, Bristol