Norska guys are among some of the raddest human beings that walk this ground that we all share. I have to say that I have a soft spot for burly-bearded dudes that are kind to all living beings. Guys like Joe Preston, Mike Scheidt, Dave French, Chad Remains, Brett Netson…… I could go on and on ’till we are all yawning and begging to be tazered to break the monotony. Enough shameless name droppage and bromancing.
Jim Lowder, Dustin & Aaron Rieseberg and Jason Oswald make up the whole of this rock machine with veins of Metal/Sludge/Doom running deep into the dark recesses and psyche of this vast inner-earthed feel and tone. The Rieseberg brothers alone are a force of nature not unlike the tenacity of a feral cat in an abandoned warehouse down by the railroad tracks of any small town; but with spirit the size of a herd of grizzlies at a salmon feed when the steelhead come inland to spawn. The aforementioned Mr. Jim Lowder’s voice is gravelly and brisk and although he has a screaming edgy voice at times it isn’t another screaming growling trendoid voice that has pretty much ruined a lot of really good metal for the last 15 years. I get that Jim can actually sing.
I love when a drummer is so fluid that he or she is so in-the-pocket tight that the music becomes an entity all it’s own and blends with the song writing. Jason achieves this largely because he is a talented multi-instrumentalist himself.
The guitar tones have some single coil pickup sounds that I have been digging a lot lately and the playing is tight and punchy. Norska definitely tip their hats to fellow Oregonians Yob in some of the riffing but they have their own feel and sound. I have had the pleasure of breaking bread with all of Norska on a few separate occasions and had some seriously fun conversational encounters with the band and I can say without reservation that these guys are straight up real-deal good people and musical craftsmen. Every time I sit down with Dustin I learn something about gear, guitars, pedals, amps and other guitarist nerdery. As my grandmother would say, “The day you don’t learn something is the day you may have overstayed your welcome in this lifetime.” As a result, I can live another day.
Guess what? This album rules and even though this is a FREE name your own price DDL, I know that you all are going to buy the vinyl. Why? Because NORSKA is rad. Do it!