2007 Trustkill Records
01. Somebody Call Somebody
04. Save Yourself
05. Famous Last Words MP3
06. Have You Ever Had a Really Bad Day?
07. Just Like Johnny
08. The Moment, The Sound, The Fury
09. Chances Aren't
10. The Ending
Based on the fact that it took four years for Nora to follow up 2003's Dreamers & Deadmen, I wouldn't doubt that a number of hardcore and metal fans had completely forgotten about these guys. And as Trustkill has continued to plummet into a relatively embarrassing excuse for a heavy music label, I also wouldn't doubt that a number of fans have since developed the tendency to ignore their releases altogether. Now, ten years after Nora's inception, the guys have managed to come together for another full-length album and the result is an extremely enjoyable slice of metallic hardcore that recalls a time when mixing rock, metal, and hardcore wasn't a trend and when Trustkill wasn't quite as laughable.
In its entirety, Save Yourself isn't overly different from the material found on Dreamers & Deadmen. The dirty rock-inspired riffs still lay the foundation and Carl Severson's vocals sound just as pissed off as ever. The album's opener, "Somebody Call Somebody," wastes little time after a brief feedback interlude before reaffirming that the Nora of today is still operates by the same principles: keep it gritty, keep it straightforward, and keep it heavy.Many a young band could learn from these veterans of the underground music scene.
But Nora also has a few pleasant surprises in the content of Save Yourself. There are a few departures from their standard metallic hardcore recipe. "The Moment, The Sound, The Fury" displays a side much more sludgy than the Nora of years past and the slower track propelled by a thick distorted bass line (courtesy of Mike Olender) could draw some nice similarities to the later output of Cable. The following number, "Chances Aren't," is more up-tempo and hook oriented than anything Nora's ever done, and while an album full of this type of material would probably be a no-no, it's good to see some diversity. And on the whole, Save Yourself displays a little less of a metalcore lean than their material of years past, which is a bit refreshing given the current crazes of the heavy music scene.
My only disappointment with Save Yourself is that it's simply not that different than Dreamers & Deadmen. It's a solid album through and through, but I was expecting the four year break to yield a little more new ideas and experimentation. Is this a problem Not necessarily. It simply means that Save Yourself is a must-have for fans of Dreamers & Deadmen and possesses a bit of a nostalgic feel even on the first listen.
Bottom Line: This one is simple. If you enjoyed Nora's Dreamers & Deadmen then there is little chance that Save Yourself won't treat you right. The gritty riffs, angry vocals and concise songwriting are all there and are just waiting to remind you of a simpler time known as 2003.