Adorned Brood - Noor
Black Bards Entertainment
Blackened Folk Power Metal
10 songs (44'58")
Release year: 2010
Reviewed by Alex

While I generally take my metal seriously, I definitely allow that others have fun with it, listening to or creating music. Germans Adorned Brood better not be taking themselves too seriously, since if they do, Noor is definitely falling short of the crème-of-the-crop status. Thus, I will give it a benefit of a doubt and assume much of the album has a tongue-in-cheek, fun attitude.

Just like the dress which reads working girl on the front and evening gown on the bank, with both chiffon ruffles on the side and metal buttons in the sleeves, Noor throws a lot of things in the blender to produce the end result. From the orchestral medieval Intro with an Eastern twist (after all Noor means “light” in Arabic) to Gothic thrash in the title track to Rammstein mechanistic verse of Schiff Der Toten to Korpiklaanish fun in Drunken Sailor to traveling German minstrels in Am Grunde Des MeeresAdorned Brood has it all. I was tired finishing the above sentence and I am sure some of the band’s traits were still left uncovered. The band has mood swings as wild as a depressed teenager without a pill. They want to try it all, to rock out, to grate, to blast and, mostly, to baffle. Their blackened power metal transitions between folk moments also have time to incorporate guitar hero solo (Adorned Brood), oboe (Storm), flute (Schiff Der Toten) and piano (Sons of the Damned). And while they will absolutely keep you guessing as to what is coming up next, they seem to maintain the self-amusing attitude about it.

Adorned Brood’s vocal stylings are as diverse as the rest of their music. Once you mixed many ingredients already, why stop? Marcus ‘Teutobot’ Frost and Ingeborg Anna handle the bulk of vocal duties for Adorned Brood, but the rest of the crew jumps in on the act with some gangly chants oh-ohing it away in the title track’s chorus. Marcus shows off his “range” from a pretty disgusting Cradle of Filth impersonation (Storm, Under Yggdrasil) to a cleaner gothic or Viking singing, but still with somebody’s hand firmly planted on his larynx (title track). Ingeborg’s vocal lines are not numerous, but at least she is not asked to shriek or go into the most confusing hardcore chant like Marcus does in Sons of the Damned.

To say that this album will keep you on your toes is an understatement, but even given its multiple stripes, I would have rated it higher if the Germans had certain crispness to both their compositions and sound. Instead, the latter is far from either clean or purposefully raw. Cursed with grating rattling effects, the sound of Noor is not very inviting to really figure out what Adorned Brood was after.

My favorite track ended up being Am Grunde Des Meeres, which is the closest impersonation of In Extremo Herr Mannelig I have heard in a while, even if it picks up into a blackish chorus and has a polka insert in the end. The opposite of unoriginal and static, Noor has almost too much going on to let it all sink in equally for proper sorting out. It could be an enjoyable experience, however, if you are all of a sudden confused whether you like power, black, folk or gothic metal the most.

Killing Songs :
Am Grunde Des Meeres, Noor, Drunken Sailor
Alex quoted 71 / 100
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There are 2 replies to this review. Last one on Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:17 pm
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