Nordic Giants @ Contemporary, Nottingham – Friday 8th May 2015

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Review by Brady Deeprose

Every now and then, we get asked to cover bands that don’t really fall under the usual banner of ‘rock’ (and/or ‘metal’). Whilst they share a label, in Kscope, with Anathema, Katatonia and Tesseract, Nordic Giants occupy a whole other musical realm. A multi-textured experience, A Séance Of Dark Delusions (review here) is a record imagined with cinematic scope: a whirling, climactic mess of keys, samples, guitar and drums that defy the usual pigeonholing us critics love to indulge in.

10981218_903247073030822_3871760391235191798_nNot only was the music for this evening a little out of the ordinary, but Nottingham’s Contemporary is an art gallery, holed up in the city centre. To access the main room, one must first descend a vast concrete-clad staircase to what almost feels like a vault or cave below ground. There, in secret, Nordic Giants had prepared a truly spectacular evening of entertainment.

From the wide, studio-like set up of the stage to the massive projector aimed at the back wall of the room, everything about the evening was set up to be massive. What ensued was a series of independent films, from the apocalyptic to the absurd, all backed up by the live music of Nordic Giants. David Jackson’s ‘The Last Breath’ is a particularly intense few minutes, the story of a family surfacing from a dive to find that all oxygen on earth has been depleted and all that they have left is what’s in their tanks. As the family slowly start to turn on each other, the music’s swells and fissures become the perfect accompaniment to the on-screen anarchy.

It’s hard to review Nordic Giants as I can’t really give you a track-by-track breakdown; the night felt like one sprawling mass of audio-visual intensity. Live drums and ebowed guitar accompany synths and keys to create these stunning soundscapes, the use of texture and dynamics that Nordic Giants employ is nothing short of masterful. Suffice it to say that what these two guys do is something that needs to be witnessed for yourself.

Setlist:
1. Elysian Skies (film – “Stardust” by Mischa Rozema)
2. Evolve Or Perish (film – “Lunar” by Tyson Wade Johnston)
3. Through A Lens Darkly (film – “The Last Breath” by David Jackson)
4. Futures Dark (film – “True Skin” by N10N)
5. Néoténie (film – “Reload” by Jodeb)
6. Illuminate (film – “This Way Up” by Smith & Foulkes)
7. Rapture (film – “Rapture” by Nordic Giants)
8. Together (film – “Pencilhead” by Pencilhead.me)
9. Dark Clouds Mean War (film – “Year Zero” by Mischa Rozema)
10. Intermission (film – “The Last Breath” final scene)
11. Spirit (film – “Jo Jo in the Stars” by Mark Craste)
12. Dissolve (film – unknown)