Initially created in 2014 as a collaborative project of a bunch of random individuals, you could excuse cynics for thinking that Swedish hard rock troupe Normandie are a stereotypically manufactured musical venture. What would be remiss to do is to not listen the output that the band have generated since their inception.
With the departure of their slightly ‘heavier’ co-vocalist, the band’s debut record ‘Inguz’ is the mark of a slight transition away from their previous EP release. Despite this, whether it be the call-to-arms chorus and passionately emotive lyrics of ‘Fight’ or the groovy breakdown segued into electronica-fuelled hard rock of ‘Calling’, Normandie display an interesting variety of techniques to burrow into the listener’s minds.
Influences such as 30 Seconds To Mars, Young Guns, and even Don Broco are clearly heard on tracks ‘Collide’ and ‘Awakening’, showcasing huge vocal deliveries against a backdrop of lingering atmospheric grooviness and emotive melody. The backing vocals on ‘Collide’ particularly compliment the sumptuous guitar interplay.
When they decide to crank the heaviness up, they do so solidly. Comparisons to the massive choruses found in Bury Tomorrow‘s music wouldn’t be a bad shout, whether it be through melody or sheer crunch. First single, ‘Believe’, demonstrates this comparison head on, delivering an extremely emotive soundtrack that lends itself brilliantly to the “anthemic” tag that the band appear to want to exude throughout the album. ‘Loop Hole’ is arguably the heaviest track on the record, with clearly the nastiest vocals on show along with a superb guitar-led breakdown halfway through that pummels to satisfying effect.
There’s just so much for the listener to grab hold of and remember here. An evident dexterity about Normandie lends itself to a sound that could be as comfortable in a small rock pub as it would do on a massive arena stage. On top of this, they could really take their sound wherever they wanted with support slots already fulfilled with numerous bands from a wide variety of genres; Memphis May Fire (metalcore), Betraying The Martyrs (deathcore), and Heart In Hand (melodic hardcore), to name but a few.
What the band deliver amounts to a seismic rock sound that is tailor made for radio airplay. With support from the BBC Radio 1 rock show, Kerrang!‘s continued interest while racking up 13k+ likes and counting on Facebook, stock in Normandie is pretty high right now. With planned tours set to see the band venture further into mainland Europe in March to coincide with the release of ‘Inguz’ (and hopefully a run of dates in the UK), the recommendation to see them off the back of this body of music is very much made.
Written by Neil Criddle (@DJCriddz)