Album Review: Normandie - 'Inguz - Gold Edition'

Swedish rock quartet Normandie celebrates recent signing to Easy Life Records by re-releasing debut album ‘Inguz’. The re-release will feature the original album tracks, follow up singles, and alternative versions of tracks recorded at Soundtrade Studios.

Swedish rockers Normandie re-release their debut album ‘Inguz’ in celebration of their recent signing to Easy Life Records. The album title, ‘Inguz’, is a Viking rune symbolic of a new life phase, and reflects the band’s new direction following the departure of their heavier co-vocalist. The album was met with critical acclaim and listening to it, it is not difficult to see why.

The album begins with ‘Fight’, a rousing track complete with booming claps and thunderous drums. The track’s high energy enraptures listeners from the first note, and stirring lyrics are complimented by Philip Strand’s outstanding vocals, which are low and threatening at first before growing into a passionate rapture.

The intensity is maintained in ‘Awakening’, which features a massive chorus that will get you on your feet jumping along to it. A lush soundscape is created in the bridge through a combination of heart-stirring orchestral strings and electronics, blended seamlessly together with Strand’s velvety voice. In this re-release, a live version of the track is offered alongside the original, in which the guitar and bass feature more prominently, and the live version is just as mind-blowingly good as the original.

My personal favourites are ‘Pay For This’ and ‘Loop Hole’, two unapologetically raucous tracks dripping with attitude. In ‘Loop Hole’, the whole range of Strand’s vocal abilities are displayed, and it never fails to blow me away; he smoothly transitions between breathy falsettos, soaring high notes, and brutal screaming without missing a beat. Finishing with a pummeling breakdown and Strand screaming ‘I’ve had enough of your bullshit’, the sass is barely contained in this track. ‘Pay For This’ is similarly brazen, and it’s one of their poppier tracks on the album. Packed with many sing-along moments, it is a track that needs to be blasted at full volume.

With the alternative versions of ‘Believe’ and ‘Collide’, the stripping back of both of these tracks breathes new life into them. In the acoustic version of ‘Collide’, it’s just Strand and a piano but there is something absolutely exquisite in the simplicity of it. You can hear every emotion in his voice, and it’s a stunning take on the track that manages to extract the balladic quality of it.

This album demonstrates the versatility of this band, and there is such a huge variety of material on offer that you are sure to find something that will be played on repeat. With captivating choruses and explosive melodies that demand to be heard, Normandie will be a name to keep an eye out for as they take the world by storm.

Words by Athena Kam