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Reviews of "Sacred Spear Aftersounds":
English translation of the reviews from the Russian or German magazines and web-resources will be ready as soon as possible

Black Alchemy web-zine - 2003 (Russia)

Metal Library - 2003 (Russia)

Pagan Metal Portal - 2003 (Russia)

Dark City magazine - #17, 2003 (Russia)

Twierdza Music Magazine - 2003 (Germany)

MetalKings.Ru - 2003 (Russia)

Metal Gospel Magazine - #21, 2002  (Germany)

 

Black Alchemy web-zine - 2003 (Russia)

NORD'N'COMMANDER (ex-VANTIT) is the Voronezh band, founded in 2001. Participants of the band name their style Blackened Metal / Archaic Folk. Guitars, drums, flute, bells and some other instruments are used in this album. The vocals are gruff and severe. Many tracks sound hardly, nightly and dreadfully. There is something of Black, something of Ambient here, and all is very singular. Archaic folk-melodies are present, and from time to time they have exact associations with the theme of Asgard. In some places you can hear chthonian sounds and ecstatic howl. And this variety is done correctly, that's why one can noway name these creations "eclectic". Texts are in English, but from time to time parts in German and Russian have place. The lyrics are dedicated to Nordic myths, cosmogony and the call for Seventh Sun rising - Sonnenmensch. Generally speaking, the atmosphere is rough, majestic and impressive.
I didn't listen to other NORD'N'COMMANDER albums yet, but I had an opportunity to acquaint myself with their two cover-versions: to "War" (BURZUM) and to "Crystal Mountain" (DEATH). The cover-version to BURZUM is quite far from the original. The NORD'N'COMMANDER version is done in slower tempo, has strange melodies between couplets, but it has been played adequately. And as for "Crystal Mountain", there is something in it, but I like this cover not so much.


Horned
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Metal Library - 2003 (Russia)

"Blackened metal / archaic folk album" is written on the CD-box that is near me, and on the CD... there is really "blackened metal" in mixture with folk archaism. I'm sure that this CD will not be appreciated by the most representatives of metal society and moreover will not be understood at all, but I'm not among them. You may take me to be whichever "music pervert", but I take a side with guys from NORD'N'COMMANDER, because namely this music awakes the important recollections in me - about the dark music, in which we believed then, about those dark evenings, during which dirty but so important records for us were sounding, about mistery of black metal and "underground industrialism" and about mystic connection of a few "Us" with something more strong-knit "Them" - there, in Norway. Once upon a time Black Metal was created on the destroyed later ideology of martial heathendom, and here in Russia we have Blackened Metal - it's not the same but similar in Spirit. Quality of the record... hmmm, speaking of the releases like these it's unnecessary to mention about it - the quality is what should be. In some details it reminds of legendary rehearsal records of THORNS at the turn of the 90s, in some details - of the first albums of BURZUM and German nazi-industrial (a-la TURBUND STURMWERK). The dirty sound, extremal guitar parts and ripping synth dark folk! Screams, vocal distortions, frosty speech, guitars recorded "in-line" directly on PC, various patterns of a drum-machine, abundance of moods, themes, sounds... This is the noise that gives an opportunity to fantasize darkly! Eldritch PC motives, perverted folk, penetrant inhumanity - it's amazingly! Only for "appreciaters" like me - those I'm speaking of will understand. It's a pity that on the next album NORD'N'COMMANDER turned aside...

Meneldor
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Pagan Metal Portal - 2003 (Russia)

... It is a sweet feeling of creating something own, something fresh. Support to it... Your life going along hyaline of your creations. Some purposefulness is arising, even fanaticism. Everyone tasted this feeling. It is being associated in me with passing and tender having glimpsed once, as if in a dream: with a summer morning forest when it's moist and lucid for fresh and hard air. Cross-lights of today's young sun are showing cold moisture between wet stems, the moisture which couldn't be absorbed inside ground under heat yet. The inspiration like this brings success for what you've created, even if this act isn't seen by others, only by that who has created it. Visions are swimming before eyes, hands themselves want to create. You animate yourself for creativity...

I have something digressed, but just the thoughts like these are on my mind after listening the album "Sacred Spear Aftersounds" by the band NORD'N'COMMANDER. Visions of forest come into my head in the process of the album perception very often. But the forest is not always like in a summer morning. A dead and aged spruce forest without underwood and life, a sleeping forest covered with snow, and a something chilly, summer mixed forest on a day...

Even the German language used in some compositions of the album seems to be a language of trees. It has wedden with the modern Pagan-Folk music very well (I get used to English or Swedish / Finnish / Norwegian...). A common theme of the album isn't felt as patriotic and combative. Also it is not lyrical, it's especial, dark and warm, like around campfire in summer night. Susurrous guitars, varied drums, croaky voice and folk inserts. Regular experiments of musicians are not apposite anywhere and they spoil the compositions only. Of course, whole quality of the album is far from perfectness, but there is inimitable atmosphere here which I estimate very highly (oh, Opera IX !).

A conclusion is very-very well... But it's necessary to work very much, also to progress improve of playing a guitar (some solo-parts cann't damage anybody), study out vocals (not only to growl) and to stop not good experiments in songs.

Windrider
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Dark City magazine - #17, 2003 (Russia)

This album has included all three tracks of the unnamed demo, reviewed by me the year before.

Frankly, then the stuff was something indistinct, because of its divorcing from the context, as I guess. So the album has been finished. Now the musicians define their stylistic line as blackened metal / archaic folk. In this situation I own that they were right: in four new compositions there is folk to saturation, and the old ones have taken their places within the scope of the album. And the energy produced by NORD'N'COMMANDER is also plentiful. Mostly the cause of it is their rhythm-section. The base of NORD'N'COMMANDER music is namely the rhythm, how it was made in the second albums of Octinomos and Necrofeast, in albums of Summoning, Mysticum and some martial industrial bands. I recall one more band - Azeroth from St.-Petersburg, that can manage also a drum-machine - the instrument which makes great opportunities for a band. Not everybody is able to profit by it, and unrealized advantages turn easily into shortcomings. By and large, huge potential is felt in NORD'N'COMMANDER, the potential that is to realize in future.

O.P
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Twierdza Music Magazine - 2003 (Germany)
translated texts (original text see below):
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original text:

Aus Russland stammt diese talentierte und ziemlich originelle Gruppe. Sie besteht aus Alexander Ishutin und Vadim Proskuryakov und wurde anno 2001 aus der Taufe gehoben. Das Duo ging aus den Ueberresten der aufgeloesten und fuer Untergrundverhaeltnisse recht erfolgreichen Gruppe VANTIT hervor, die "Nord Ballad Techno", also melodische, von nordischer Atmosphaere durchdrungene elektronische Musik gespielt hat. Nach VANTIT fuehrten Alexander und Vadim, die sich schon lange kennen, unter dem neuen Namen NORDíNíCOMMANDER ihr bisheriges Schaffen konsequent fort, griffen nun aber auch verstaerkt auf den Einsatz elektronischer Gitarren zurueck.

Die ziemlich interessanten und oft intelligenten Texte der Veroeffentlichung, die uebrigens ausser in Englisch auch in Deutscher und Russischer Sprache dargeboten werden, lassen ausser auf viel
Ideologie und die besondere Wichtigkeit der lyrischen Komponente ihres Schaffens auch auf eine akademische Bildung schliessen. Und so ist es auch: Waehrend Alexander Philologie studiert und eine Dissertation ueber die Namen der alten Slawischen Goetter verfasst (nebenher ist er auch noch Dozent fuer Antrophologie und Linguistik), studiert Vadim Musikpaedagogik.

Auf ihrem Debuet als NORDíNíCOMMANDER, "Sacred Spear Aftersounds", sehen sich NORDíNíCOMMANDER, was das musikalische Grundgeruest anbelangt, der Tradition Minimalistischen Norwegischen Schwarzmetalls verhaftet. Das ist jedoch nur eine Seite.
Darueber hinaus naemlich lassen die Russen, die sich nicht limitieren und eindeutig kategorisieren
lassen wollen, Russisch-Nordische Folkloristische Klaenge in ihre Musik einfliessen, teilweise
sogar sehr dezenten Gothic, und variieren des Oefteren den Gesang. Zudem hat auch die Herangehensweise einen gaenzlich anderen Hintergrund, als bei vielen Schwarzmetallbands: Bei NORDíNíCOMMANDER naemlich arten viele Passagen in einem sehr eigenen Chaos aus und entwickeln ganz eigene Strukturen. Hier ist allerdings auch der Kritikpunkt: An mehreren Stellen
naemlich verliert die Gruppe meines Erachtens etwas den Faden, wirkt uninspiriert. Das ist auf Grund
der ansonsten zu Tage gelegten Eigenstaendigkeit und Ambition schade. Ein zweiter kleiner Kritikpunkt ist die Stimme, aus der man noch mehr haette herausholen, und die man noch eine wenig mehr haette in den Vordergrund stellen koennen.

Auf ihrem kommenden Album, "Heavenly Barrow", welches schon komplett fertig ist und demnaechst ueber Irritum Records aus Schweden veroeffentlicht wird, und in das ich teilweise schon mittels mp3 reingehoert habe, sind indes diese Maengel ganz behoben. Es sei verraten, dass das Album das vorliegende noch um Laengen toppen wird und ausser den bisherigen Elementen noch Industrial-, Elektro- und staerkere Gothicklaenge vorhanden sein werden. Mehr sei einstweilen noch nicht offenbartÖ

Die Zeit bis zum Erscheinen von "Heavenly Barrow" kann man sich indessen ruhig mit dem Hoeren
von "SacredÖ" verkuerzen, ist es doch ein ziemlich gelungenes, extrem-/schwarzmetallisch-folkloristisch-originelles Album mit einigen Ueberraschungen und dem gewissen nordischen Etwas, welches sicher noch viele zufriedene Abnehmer finden wird.

Wolos
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MetalKings.Ru - 2003 (Russia)

Have you ever walked through forest on a moonless night? No? Well, it’s never too late. Put out the lights, open the door to your balcony so that the wind fills the room with the cold breath of the cemetery, stomp on the tail of your fave pet-cat, so that the poor s.o.b.’s shriek pierce through the silence of the night, and shove “Sacred Spear Aftersounds” into your CD player. Any soundtrack to a first-class horror movie would sound like “Jingle Bells” compared to this collection of primal songs of evil. And please do not ask me what does the term “blackened metal/archaic folk” stand for – that’s what this Voronezh-based act characterizes their outstanding material with, so I ain’t the one to blame. Yes, you got that right, true and outstanding. It may not be for everybody, it may require a lot of spins, but it has some truly mystical magnetism to it. I really don’t know what ancient force makes me keep putting the CD into the drive, but the temptation is just irresistible. The unbelievable combination of thick low-ringing guitar passages, the roars of hell, and traditional folk vocalisms. And although the sound could have definitely been better, the album is still worth the attention of all the real Viccans and true-blackers.

Debbie Boink
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Metal Gospel Magazine - Ļ21, 2002  (Germany)

This is a band from Russia that plays raw Black Metal with some Folk and Gothic influences. I believe this might be a one man project but I'm not sure. They are intriguing to say the least. This collection of songs features some very interesting arrangements of an almost psychedelic nature with low, whispering and somewhat harsh vocals. The use of a drum machine unfortunately ruins it and
gives it too much of a "synthetic" feeling, makes me think of video game music. That's too bad
because they have some good ideas within, like the usage of a flute and the folksy melody patterns
which tend to be catchy. They're currently on the search for a label and I'd really like to see what they can do with a real drumkit.

Cheryl
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