Nanda Devi – Fifth Season


Band: Nanda Devi
Album: Fifth Season
Genre: Metal
Label: Cavity

1. The Circumpolar Current
2. Untitled
3. Abandoned By The Sun
4. Untitled
5. Blood and Iron
6. La Brea
7. Untitled
8. Fifth Season

I was honestly having a conversation on favorite record labels recently and Cavity came up as one I thought was flawless…then I heard Nanda Devi’s Fifth Season. From a label that has given us so much great music in the past year of UTG, this is the first record I generally had to force myself to listen to multiple times. Now, I know that’s a horribly lopsided way to start a review, but hey, you live a busy life, I’m not going to tease you into wondering exactly what I thought of a record I have very clear feelings towards.

Fifth Season, which was released in February, is the first 8 track full length album I have ever come across. This is where the originality ends. Being this is a cavity release, the sound could have went two directions, complete onslaught metal [with a hint of relaxation], or post rock [not to stereotype the label, but let’s be honest – it’s what they know best]. Nanda tends to split this section by having multiple, “Untitled,” tracks that simply prolong the album without any vocals or any musical inspiration – just noise. Nothing moves you, or the album, it just keeps the ever impending silence from arriving. The band actually manages to prolong the album by nearly ten minutes with this little track, but if one were to return t the album after a single listen, I doubt any of these “art” tracks would appear in the playlist.

Now onto the true, “songs,” of the album. Nothing really caught me at first except for the weak production value and horrible voice modulation. For the most part, the vocals seem as if they were recorded through a soup can telephone that you made as a child. It’s a lot of guttural growls, but with no bass to back it up. As for the sound of everything else, it just has a very “low budget” feel. The band seems to have rushed the recording, which may not be their fault, but the influence on the outcome is obvious and should be mentioned. Now, amongst this mess, there is one shining moment and that is, “Blood and Iron.” Over 7 minutes in length and heavy as a wrecking ball, this is the track that explains why this album ever even arrived at my doorstop. For this duration of time, the band shines with Norma Jean like skill and musicianship, but it’s only one track in a sea of a lost cause of an album and I doubt most will ever reach it.

In the end, I think Cavity, or someone, has made a grave error. Nanda Devi’s Fifth Season is simply dreadful. From the poor quality, to the over indulgent “untitled” tracks, it all induces ntohing short of apathy in the listener. At a time when so many bands that deserve deals don’t have them, this record leaves me wondering why this act gets to use the name Cavity at all. It’s just a mess [aside from one half-gem]. Pass on it. Please.

*Written By: James Shotwell*
Score: 2/10

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One Response to “Nanda Devi – Fifth Season”

  1. youfailedme says:

    Comparing the only “gem” to Norma Jean obviously means this is not legitimate. This record RULES.