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Nan Madol: Feathered Serpent

Named after a Micronesian ancient city, Nan Madol hail from Tønsberg, Norway and have recently released their debut album Feathered Serpent. The formation of the band dates back to 2006 so it has taken time to put all the pieces into place. In the band are Kolbjørn Enge (drums, lead vocals), Kristian Ring (guitar), Cristoffer Iversen (guitar, backing vocals) and Pål Isdahl Solberg (bass).

The band cites Mastodon and Tool as major influences and one can certainly hear that in the music. Progressive hard rock is as good a descriptor as any. The songs are built upon some pretty cool riff progressions and the excellent drum work from Enge who proves to be a talented vocalist as well. His voice is emotive and strong with a bit of roughness, not unlike the lead vocals of Mastodon. The first two tracks "Guide" and "Tidal Waves" are good examples of what this band is all about; crunchy guitar riffs, excellent drums (Enge hits pretty hard at times and I like his tone) and powerful vocals. In "Golden Age" the riffs are a little more dramatic with some nice atmospheric parts as well. The sonically riveting "Conquistador" is another good track built upon fantastic chord progressions and intense drum fills. The complexity of Tool comes to mind, especially on the drum kit.

The title track is the longest here at over thirteen minutes. It starts mellow with clean guitar notes and chords. The vocals of Enge are deep and smooth and he gives one of his best performances, very emotional and commanding. After a brief interjection of heaviness the mellowness returns and back and forth it goes until a very moody guitar interlude adds a different texture. As the song progresses the imaginative guitar riffs and drum work take center stage. Fans of heavy rock should love this one.

The somewhat melancholic "Aishani" is another prime example of softer guitar and more intense passages.

What can I say, the country of Norway keeps on producing great talent and Nan Madol should certainly be amongst the leaders of progressive hard rock in the coming years. Of course, the band will need your support so I recommend you give this one a listen. I think you will like what you hear.

Track Listing:
1. Guide (6:45)
2. Tidal Waves (6:52)
3. Golden Age (6:05)
4. Conquistador (5:04)
5. Feathered Serpent (13:43)
6. Aishani (4:11)
7. Sundown (6:54)
8. Kingdom Caves (4:27)

Added: December 19th 2015
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 1798
Language: english

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