Need
Norchestrion: Α Song For The End


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mythodea USER (18 Reviews)
January 21st, 2021 | 23 replies


Release Date: 01/12/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: In the face of need, even gods are convinced

It has been seven years since I submitted one of my first reviews to this site, commenting on Need’s Orvam: A Song for Home, praising it for the instrumental dexterity, production and general theme, without thinking it would be a part of a much larger concept regarding self, darkness and existence. In 2017, we were graced by the follow up Hegaiamas: A Song for Freedom, which paid even more attention to detail, and now, four years later, we have the last instalment of the ''Songs'' trilogy, Norchestrion: A Song for the End.

What Need are, at first glance, is a progressive metal band, drawing inspiration from all big names in the game, particularly Fates Warning and Nevermore. The experienced listener might also pick up Dream Theater vibes from Bloodlux’s intro, or be reminded by the more ceremonial aspect of Tool on Ananke’s brooding intro. However, Need are not mimicking, rather than filtering all those ideas and styles, and they have undeniably built their own persona. Eastern melodies are interwoven in the compositions, revealing some of the band’s Mediterranean roots, along with their tendency to dress their music with a mystical, tribal flair.

One might be estranged by the choice of so many mispronounceable words in the titles, like, what the hell does Hegaiamas mean, you pretentious New Age hippie? Ravaya, aka, George Tzavaras, the band’s leading composer, also responsible for the titles, has masked his references and messages appropriately, so the more dark and desperate Orvam is inspired by reversing the Greek word for Black (Mavro), Hegaiamas means ''Our Land'' (Η Γαία Μας), and Norchestrion references the machines that play music with the use of rolled sheets and levers. So apparently, there are many messages, bastardized words from many languages, sounds from different cultures, and an undeniable passion for progressive metal to be found in Need’s discography.

On paper it works, but does it actually work in practice? I have already established that Need belong to a rich stage, however they manage to stray from many neo-prog trends that tire the genre. Overly dramatic orchestral arrangements, instrumental show-off, labyrinthine compositions that lead nowhere, they are all scrapped. No matter how long the song, from a 3 minute speed trip, to 20 minute epics, the music flows elegantly, from movement to movement, from riff to riff. Instead of trying to impress, the songs aim to immerse, so that when Ananke ends it doesn’t really feel like one third of the hour has passed by. Theatrical dialogue V.a.d.i.s. in the middle of the album also helps relieve the ears after a relentless streak of bangers, while functioning as a more apparent nod to the concept of ''end'' (as previous Hotel Oniro and I.O.T.A. accordingly did on their respective albums). In Norchestrion, Need let loose quite often, letting many different sounds , from the more rock Avia, with a small synth solo that pays tribute to our ‘80s nostalgia, to the anthemic Nemmortal where the stupid lyric «I’ve become so dark and sinister» shouldn't but does make sense, to the jaw-dropping bass line of Circadian. Need are mature enough to write addictive songs and memorable choruses, while still going nuts on the instrumental level. That’s compositional prowess and instrumental proficiency.

Jon V’s voice is yet again soaring high, pulling off even more demanding parts that could crumble easily, i.e. the mourning microtonal parts in the middle of the title track. He doesn’t sing all the parts, however, as keyboardist Antonis Hatzis performs the harsher vocals on it, or actor Aquila Karazisis lends his voice for the closing track Kinwind, which by the way is one of the most moving moments, closing the curtain not only for the album, but for the whole concept of Songs.

Is Norchestrion Need’s best offering to date? That’s a moot point, because I’d rather think of it as the best way to say goodbye to the Songs format. It is admirable that the band has actually created one of modern prog’s best streak of albums, with little to no flaws, a tight theme, and artistic consistency, but in no way homogenous, as each part has its own distinct character. In the growing population of progressive metal acts, it is difficult end in itself to put out one masterpiece, let alone three. Need have created an entity that borrows from all the good elements in the genre but stands on its own, that merges cultures and languages, yet doesn’t sound disjointed, that uses a specific format but doesn’t become repetitive. This is the way I want to interpret Norchestrion: A Song for the End, as a song for finality, for sure, but more importantly, as a celebration of the end that drives us forward, the mountain's peak in the distance, the destination and the perseverance to fill the need of arrival.

https://needband.bandcamp.com/album/norchestrion-a-song-for-the-end



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user ratings (37)
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Mythodea
January 21st 2021


5797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is it guys. ''Song'' No. 3 from the band, and the final instalment. I wanted to write this one for a few days, but only now I could sit my ass down and blurp out some words. Constructive criticism is welcome.

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
January 21st 2021


13428 Comments


Really tidy review, I was worried about the “reflection on the past” introduction set up but you brought it together nicely. Huge pos.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 21st 2021


23469 Comments


You did it Myth, nice, I'll give it a read later.

The album is not really my cup of tea but honestly I only heard a few tracks.

I think I've grown exhausted of prog metal lately.

Digging: Camera - Prosthuman

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
January 21st 2021


13428 Comments


Same here. I think I gave up on prog in metal around the time Dream Theater dipped again. I’ve been at a loss with this genre since.

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 21st 2021


23469 Comments


New Soen might put me in the mood again.

Mythodea
January 21st 2021


5797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Dewinged well, it's 66 minutes of progressive metal, so I guess you should take your time and not force it!

I've heard great words on new Soen, and I'm really interested to see how it sounds like.



@Nocte, thanks dude, positive feedback always means a lot to me!

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
January 21st 2021


13428 Comments


New Soen is only thing keeping the genre going atm

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
January 21st 2021


15615 Comments


Nice work, you've aroused my curiosity. I'm going to take a peek.

Digging: Suffering Hour - The Cyclic Reckoning

Groundking
January 21st 2021


1550 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm really enjoying this.

OmairSh
January 22nd 2021


17461 Comments


Myth returns after a lengthy reviewing hiatus and gets featured? Sounds about right :D

Digging: Jimmy Smith - Back At The Chicken Shack

Evangelancer
January 22nd 2021


13 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I personally thought prog had a great year in 2020, and if this release is any indication, I have high hopes for the year to come. This is a fantastic release.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
January 22nd 2021


12134 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Congrats for the feature, Myth! This is great indeed.

Digging: UFO - Obsession

Mythodea
January 22nd 2021


5797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks all of you guys for your positive words!



@Omair, tbh, I had to bribe the mods, nothing is left to chance!



@Evangelancer, Yeah, this was pretty good. I hope the rest of the years is equally or more strong, because I was somewhat disapointed by some big names in 2020.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
January 23rd 2021


9038 Comments


I wish Siamese God had the vocal work that this album has, as the heavy groove of the guitars is reminiscent of the said album.

The guitars here could benefit from a slightly heavier tone, even though the new album sounds excellent as is.

Also, finally a progressive metal album that's a real headbanger.

Groundking
January 23rd 2021


1550 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Circadian is such a great tune.

Mythodea
January 23rd 2021


5797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Voivod, Yeah, I must check out Siamese God eventually. Have the vocals improved this radically since then?



@Groundking, Circadian must be the first song that clicked instantly. That intro was just *mwah*

Groundking
January 23rd 2021


1550 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah it's the first that had me recognising it properly out of the lot.

Evangelancer
January 26th 2021


13 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Changed my rating from 4.5 to 4. V.A.D.U.S. is a weak transitional track and I just begin the album repeat at the end of Ananke. Album is so long that cutting both those tracks doesn't impact it's runtime at all and probably makes it stronger.



@Mythodea great review, btw, forgot to tell you that.

Mythodea
January 27th 2021


5797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks dude. I also think V.a.d.i.s. is the weakest dialogue of the three, but I dig Kinwind so much, probably because there's no language barrier.

Groundking
January 27th 2021


1550 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I like VADIS, it breaks the album up nicely but really couldn't care for Kinwind, it should have been shorter imo.

I also think the second half is stronger, Ananke is so good.



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