Nomad Son
First Light
Style: Doom Metal
Release date: July 1st 2008

Nomad Son came about as the union of Forsaken bass player Albert Bell with local Classic Rock band Frenzy Mono under the instigation of producer David Vella (Beheaded, Rammstein, Matryrium, Forsaken).  Before “First Light” one might have empathised with sceptics dismissing this reunion of Classic Rock and Doom…..from a diminutive island that is Malta. Besides, Mr Bell’s creativity must surely have been dissipated with the monoliths of Doom that are Forsaken...

As it turns out, such preconceptions couldn’t have been more misguided. In all sincerity I hadn’t been this impressed by any Metal release for a very long time. “First Light” is gripping in its quality and provides a breath of fresh air to the genre. Paradoxically, the style is still distinctly old-school Doom in flavour – think of Pentagram, Black Sabbath, Trouble and Deep Purple. Yes, Deep Purple are a clear point of reference for Nomad Son’s music, a fact that stems from an amazing use of the Hammond. This is perfectly illustrated in ‘The Wraith’ – a song whose climax makes you shut out the outside world while you air-guitar/keyboards like an insane jack-in-the-box. Nomad Son are also blessed with a highly talented vocalist: Jordan Cutajar, who sounds like a rejuvenated Bobby Liebling (Pentagram). There are no fillers in “First Light” but ‘Empyrean Fade’ and ‘Forever Twilight’ tend to get particular attention in my stereo.

The lyrical content of “First Light” has a political nuance and seems to suggest feelings of despair and anger at the loss of those values enshrined by religious faiths that keep humanity connected. When compared with his contributions for Forsaken, Albert Bell here adopts a more direct style of writing. The album ends with the only ‘ballad’ (if that’s the right word) – a song suggestively called ‘The Light At The End’.  It is heavily reminiscent of Black Sabbath’s psychedelic ‘Solitude’ but the lyrics of the former have stronger feelings of hope. In fact it contains what are probably the most straightforward and heartfelt verses that Albert has ever written.

I reckon that this album owes much of its magic to a pervasive chemistry within all the band’s ranks. It’s as if “First Light” was meant to be. Miss this gem and lose your soul.
01. Forever Twilight
02. Shallow Grave
03. Seven Notes in Black
04. Delirium
05. All the Thresholds of Consciousness
06. The Wraith
07. Empyrean Fade
08. The Light at the End
Label: Metal On Metal Records
Reviewed by: Chris Galea
Date: June 1st 2009