Maximum Metal Rating Legend
5 Excellent - Masterpiece. A classic.
4.5-4 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a lacking.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio.
2.5-2 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors.
1.5-1 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible - Waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.
Total War
2/27/2004 - Review by: Eric Compton
Nordheim - Total War 2004 Marquee Records - Reviewed by EC

Track Listing
1. Total War
2. Hell On Earth
3. The Clash Of Steel
4. Shockwaves
5. River Of Death
6. Raining Fire
7. Hammer Of Gods
8. The Metal March
I absolutely loved this Brazilian metal band's debut, "..And The Raw Metal Power". Vocalist Helio Oliva could possibly be one of the finest metal singers of this modern era of heavy metal, combining the great vocal stylings of Zak Stevens, Tony Martin, and ex-Iron Maiden shouter Blaze. Nordheim play some very unique passages, with influences ranging from Black Sabbath to Running Wild, with a small symphonic factor added in to incorporate that ever important EPIC aspect, and even a small touch of death metal to soothe the angry souls.

With the new year upon us, Nordheim have returned with their sophomore effort, an EP entitled "Total War", which features three new tracks, a cover tune, and four live cuts. This new EP recalls all of the classy metal moments of the debut, but seems to have added more death growls this time around. With opening track "Total War", the band go at it aggressively, with plenty of death chants, with vocalist Oliva emerging from the madness in grand fashion, rising from the ashes with his strong metal voice, leaving the death growls as an afterthought. "Total War" rages on, with quality riffs-a-plenty, bringing NWOBHM to front among a garbled mass of inhuman growls. With the opening track, Oliva is in full control, but the cookie monster growls stay throughout, something that the songs on the debut didn't do, normally losing the growls a minute or two in.

Second track "Hell On Earth" is a teutonic ripper, mixing in the old sounds of Germany with the sounds made famous by mid-era Savatage and most recently Circle II Circle, a sound that reaches its heaviest moments but slows down for the softer keyboard touches. I loved it when Savatage did it and I absolutely adore it here, with Nordheim playing the part they were meant for; classic metal traditionalists combining modern elements from almost every metal genre. Innovative and unique, Nordheim rule the metal wastelands, picking up here and there, and forming a creative fortress with the pieces, a chosen home for all to come and enjoy. "The Clash Of Steel" follows with the fastest cut, blazing along like early Iced Earth, early Helloween, and Running Wild in its prime, hitting everything on target. Again, the black soul emerges here, with plenty of black metal growls bellowing from the beast.

The band stops to visit New Wave Of Belgian Heavy Metal gods Killer with a cover of "Shockwaves", a down and dirty metallic approach that steams forth like a locomotive, out of control and raging full speed ahead. Four live cuts appear on the end, "River Of Death", "Raining Fire", "Hammer Of Gods", and "The Metal March", each song showcasing the band's live appeal, capturing every great moment from the band's debut, hitting home the fact that Nordheim could be the new leaders of metal, no matter what genre. These guys mean serious business, and respect their elders, a rare find indeed!

--EC 02.26.04

Total War
Eric Compton2/27/2004

Helio OlivaEric Compton12/6/2003

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