Reviewed: June 2021
Released: 2021, DevFire Entertainment
Reviewer: Graeme Smith
Debut albums can be a bit a hit and miss. Often they are raw at the edges but offer hope and promise of what’s to come later, and then sometimes they can be the omen of doom and the band disappears into obscurity never to be heard again.
Northmaan are a band from the north of England and have just released their debut self-titled album. In this case I use the term ‘band’ loosely as this whole album was written, recorded, produced and mixed by one person. It has to be said that for a single soul to do everything on the album, Jayce Lewis deserves total acclaim as it’s a stupendous effort.
The album burgeoned from his dissatisfaction with the music genre he loved becoming a joke financially. ‘Self Destruct’ begins the album with pulsating drums accompanied with screaming vocals. You can hear the pain in Jayce’s voice within the louder screaming sections but he also has the ability to produce more haunting vocals in other parts of the song. His annoyance continues in ‘Rage Trigger’ which offers him ample opportunity to vent his anger through his powerful voice, the incendiary guitars and accompanying thundering drums. The end result is a thing of beauty.
‘Persevere’ is a more haunting track and is one of the stand out moments on an album full of excellent tunes. The guitar riffs are not dis-similar to Rammstein and that added to the eerie vocals ensure it leaves a memorable mark on you. I could compare to another band to give you an idea of what the sound is like on the song, but there is only an original sounding album to be found here.
Northmaan said – This album came out of nowhere, so much has gone on for years, I have stood by the wayside and watched a beloved alternative industry, my industry become a commercial embarrassment! an audition! So…I felt it was time, someone or something had to be done, So, I brought back a classic formula, a missing sound! with hope to bring light to things that matter more now, than ever!
‘Dying Star’ has the catchy chorus and it’ll have you humming the tune all day. That isn’t to say any of the other tracks don’t endorse the album’s quality. It’s of superb level throughout but with only 6 songs clocking in at just over 31 minutes and I do wish it had been longer. Each opus has something different and more to offer than the last and I can’t help marvel at the full spectacle of what it is. It’s extremely well written, musically and vocally fantastic and the overall production, mix and mastering is sublime. Was this really created by one person? It’s astonishing.
The track titles tell you all you need to know about the album’s inspiration and inception came from; Self Destruct, Rage Trigger, Persevere, Torture First, Tolerate. The feelings that fed the anger that have borne this magnum opus. It’s an album from the soul and it shows that a great deal of time, effort and love has been put in to produce the final product. It is a thing to admire and listen to in awe. I can’t wait for the live shows, although to find other musicians who will pour their soul out on a stage might to do this justice be difficult task.
This is clearly a case where an individual has had a clear vision of what he wants to produce and had the skills necessary to deliver it to an extremely high level. This debut album surely must be a hit as it’s tremendous and it should ensure Northmaan are destined for great things. Go get it now.