Review: Norrin Radd — Anomaly

a3356232946_10Connoisseur of the absurd, fan of the extreme, this album is something for you. Music that is anything but normal. Music that breaks the barriers of the common and the ordinary. Norrin Radd’s Anomaly is a trip … and a really fascinating one.

An anomaly is something that would fall out of the ordinary routine. Something that “stands” out, be it positively or negatively, in one way or another. Whether such a deviation can be identified readily may have to do with the experience of a person in regard to the field to which it belongs. When it comes to Norrin Radd’s Anomaly though, then matters are quite simple and reveal themselves momentarily and without much difficulty. Even those who happen to lack knowledge of metal music in general, will be confused over the arrangements, sound and style of the music. It simply cannot be discussed away, it cannot be ignored or overlooked. Unlike other artists, Norrin Radd does not pretend to create music without any form of “real” instruments. Electronics reign supreme and this from the first second onwards. But matters are actually more complicated.

Yes, complicated, because this trifle alone would make the music by no means an anomaly. It has rather to do with the particular type of music that can be found here. It comes over as a combination of dated videogame music with a certain touch of metal. Metal in the sense of arrangements, in the sense of atmosphere and in the sense of dynamics. One could easily imagine certain parts of the album to be an electronic aberration of music by some obscure artists from the metal underground; one lost piece no one has ever talked about. When it comes to experiencing the music, then the effect is of course strange and bewildering. What is commonly associated with metal or with even death metal in particular receives a strange spin on this album. While the intensity in the music is definitely there, those high-pitched sounds and other sterile noises fail to add a gravity and darkness to the performance. Instead it comes over as cheerful, playful and somewhat charming. Those tunes and motives move along, but take the listener on a spin in an entirely different direction.

Yet one should not be mistaken here. Norrin Radd knows exactly what he is doing. Unlike a lot of pointless black metal underground bands, to point to an often recited and referred to example, this artist has spent some effort on getting the arrangements and the programming done properly. There are ton of nice elements, solo parts and switches in tempo in the tracks, which prevents the listener from getting bored and diverted. It is astounding how many facets and conceptual approaches can be discovered on this recording. Blasts, weird interludes and come really cool melodies. Extreme music through a different lens and this album is really recommended. Try to look beyond the obvious and those strange NES-inspired chiptunes. Enjoy the performance, chuckle about the level of extreme that music has been brought here.


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