The story of Turku, Finland based band, Nodding Sky is similar to that of many other band tales out there - Friends drinking, discussing music, probably laughing and having a good time, maybe a few too many drinks later and before long five friends are jamming together. It's happened before, it happened here and it will happen again, although few bands will come up with something as brilliant as this bands debut EP, 'For Those Left Behind.'
This four track thirty three minute EP shows a great deal of promise and influences from various sub-genres to form something that's mid-tempo in speed, quite melodic in character with progressive, acoustic and doom tendencies. It's a bit hard to pinpoint exactly, but I think these guys share influences from bands like; Amorphis, Sentenced, Insomnium and, well, needless to say their fellow Finnish brethren.
'For Those Left Behind' kicks off the EP with an instantly catchy folky melodic lead riff that at least for me had me banging my head instantly, eventually it leads into some quite well performed clean vocals. From there the songs intensity seems to pick up as some screamed vocals enter, although the song shifts back to mellower tones and back quite frequently. At almost nine minutes the song features a plethora of meaty head bobbing riffs, occasional acoustic breaks, heavy audible bass, brilliant drumming, well performed vocals and an immense drive and progressive sense of direction, which makes every last second enjoyable.
Opening with the sounds of wind blowing and acoustic guitars strumming, 'Murheen saarnamies' carries a more depressive tone along with it. As made obvious by the title, this one is in Finnish and much like the first song has a fair trade off of clean and growled vocals, likewise some acoustic breaks are found as well as plenty of cool riffs and similarly progressive structure, though slower in speed with some definite doom elements. 'We Are Losing Her (Until All the Light Is Gone)' once again follows a similar structure as the first two songs, though I find that it has some of that energetic vibe from the first song mixed with the doomy parts of the second. At last the EP closes with an acoustic reprise of, 'Murheen saarnamies,' which is interestingly more than just a simple return to this song, but in fact its a whole new take on the song and hearing it done entirely acoustic with some synth enrichment actually sounds oddly even better than the metalized version.
Nodding Sky is off to a grand start with, 'For Those Left Behind' and since they released this EP independently I'm quite sure it wont be long before they are signed. Impressively the EP comes as a digipak, as well the production of the recording is top notch and even the envelope the band sent me the EP in bared the bands logo, which to me just shows that the band is hungry and ready to spread their music world round with this professional approach.
For the curious you can probably still buy this EP by contacting the band (noddingsky[ä]gmail-dot-com) or you can download it for free at their last.fm profile.