Instrumental metal is getting a fresh injection of energy with the pulsing anthemic sounds of Nordic Hamster. With their self-titled debut EP Nordic Hamster, they flow between progressive metal, deathcore and melodic metal. Delivering five tracks packed with hooks, blistering guitar solos and a thrashing good time, this duo is definitely one to keep an eye on.
Cody Nordine and Cody Hamilton bring their talents and experience as seasoned musicians into play with this EP. Coming out of Central Florida, the long time friends recently decided to start making music together to unleash their passion and have a blast. Through the music, you can hear their passion and enjoyment of what they do which wonderfully translates into a rather epic listening experience.
The EP opens with ‘Dark Willow’ which breaths into the soundscape and lightly creeps into existence. There is a rich feeling to the main melodic line while the samples of creaking doors add a touch of the ominous. As the guitars start to build, you can really feel the vibrations of metal. The interplay between the light piano line and the aggression of the guitar is wonderful as it picks up the ominous sense of the sound samples. When the piano drops away, you are treated to the tension of the guitars as they bounce against each other. The vibrating thrash of one is met by the melodic flow of the other providing two sides of a story and the emotions that come with this.
‘Juxtapose’ is a metal monster from the start as it pounds and thrashes through you. The aggression of the soundscape is much heavier than the opening track and makes you want to jump around and go crazy. The pause before the truly blistering guitars cry out is an interesting addition. Throughout the song, there are these stop and start moments that push the overall vibe of the track into your veins. It is amazing how seamlessly the duo is able to move between the heavy moments and the slightly lighter ones without losing a stitch of intensity.
There is a very different feeling to the opening of ‘Keeper of the Light’ that leads you into a false sense of the track. The rather folky opening is abruptly ripped from under you and replaced with the pulse of metal guitars. This pulse is a cacophony of sound that a melodic line rises out of. The folk tones make a comeback later in the track to dance around the metal thrum. It is an extremely intense combination of different stylings that works perfectly. This track is a true testament to the musicality and prowess of the band as they bring guitars that make you want to close your eyes and fly with them to a jive of folk.
‘Bloodseeker’ shoves at you from the first second with a touch of caution coming from the higher guitar line. The lower guitars grab at your senses and beckon you into the darkness while the higher levels of the melody act as a light warning. This all comes together for an enthralling pull into the depths as the guitars meet and intertwine. Later in the track, the guitars give you a moment to breathe but the beats make you feel like time is ticking and something is coming. This track really gets the heart racing while offering you a moment to catch your breath before throwing you back into the fray.
The EP comes to an end with the epic and almost theatrical opening of ‘Screwdriver’. There is a statement being made by the opening line that leads you to the blistering run of the guitars. The rolling pace of the melody is stunning and sweeps you up in the river of churning guitar tones. You can hear a touch of deathcore in the low levels that is tempered by the almost prog-rock of the higher lines. These layers meet and trap you between them where your only option is to give in to the movement of the music. Just as you are losing yourself in the music, the guitars drop for a plucked reprieve before that metal guitar grabs hold of you again and throws into the metal shockwaves.
Nordic Hamster brings a fresh injection of energy with their blistering, thrashing and utterly unique take on instrumental metal in their EP Nordic Hamster. Each track has a completely different feeling as they merge metal styles with ominous vibes and stories told through the guitars. All of this is added to an epic splash of theatrics and cinematic flows for an EP that you can’t stop listening to once you start.