Normandie EP

Written by: BL on 05/05/2014 13:39:42

Normandie are a Swedish metalcore band from Örebro who play a straight up evolution of a raw Bring Me The Horizon with the precision down tuned riffing of Woe, Is Me that is so obvious you'd probably struggle to argue otherwise. The obvious question is does it work? On the basis of the four songs on the EP the evidence is while not completely resounding, it is still most certainly yes. Their biggest secret weapon is their second vocalist Philip Strand, who has gotten some recognition on the internet for doing some stellar vocal covers of the likes of Issues (which is more impressive than it sounds given how good Tyler Carter is).

Four songs does not make a long EP and it is a largely a shame that we only have a small taste of all that his band have to offer despite what was alluded to explicitly earlier about sounding like to existing bands. To be very clear Normandie does not sound exactly like either band entirely on their own at all, it's only when you take aspects and key elements from both and assemble them in the way Normandie have does it even make sense. There are definitely times on opener "Violence" when it feels like one is listening to "Shadow Moses" or "Antivist" instead because of some similar riffs and the screamer Johan Lindström's vocal style. Then on "Revolution" the early heavy parts may sound like the Woe, Is Me that wrote "Vengeance", but Normandie add enough of their own input later on (and boy is it good) that it doesn't feel like complete plagarism. Whether or not you would agree will be down to your own preference and perhaps it is likely that your mileage will vary greatly depending on how much you like those bands in question.

The constant in all of this is that Philip Strand could be one of the most promising sounding singers in this new era of post-metalcore who doesn't sound like his voice hasn't broken and can actually sing without being processed to death on record. While his less than stellar enunciation and an overly strained sounding high end can be his achilles heel from time to time, the aforementioned "Revolution" comes alive as his deft vocals takes to the forefront and later delivers a mesmerising bridge section that effortlessly unwinds the pace. It's interesting that his presence wasn't perhaps utilised more as maybe Normandie didn't want to oversaturate their heavy sound with clean vocals. And at least this way it helps really accentuate the contrasting shifts from Bring Me The Horizon and even While She Sleeps style abrasive hardcore to a more melodic orientated soundscape like on the grand closer "Everlasting" because they're less frequent.

Normandie really could do with making a full album as it will be easier to tell if the band is simply empty promises or actual gold buried underneath. For now we are simply given a clean cut snapshot of what the band is capable of that doesn't quite feel entirely their own nor complete yet.


Download: Revolution, Neverending, Everlasting.
For the fans of: Bring Me The Horizon; Woe, Is Me; While She Sleeps
Listen: Facebook

Release date 11.09.2013
Oakfield Music Group

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