Review: Nostromo – Narrenschiff (self-released, Mar 8)

If the new Daughters album last year wasn’t enough to sate your appetite for unlikely comebacks in heavy music, Swiss hardcore outfit Nostromo has you covered. Almost exactly one year ago they released two individual tracks, “Uraeus” and “Corrosion”, their first recorded output since 2004’s Hysteron – Proteron. Unlike that album though, which presented a quite unexpected stylistic departure from the previous two records in the form of progressive, all-acoustic guitar compositions, the thrashing metalcore is back on Narrenschiff, and sounds just as fresh almost fifteen years later. The production is much more full and muscular than the stabbing angularity of Ecce Lex (which, to clarify, is also fantastic), giving crushing weight to every instrument. The dense guitar arrangements don’t lose any of their clarity though, and every note hits with its own force even as they collectively form formidable, nearly impenetrable walls of dissonance and distortion. Penultimate track “Septentrion” might be the most epic the band has ever penned, its patient atmosphere-building and evolving riffs showing a promising inclination toward longer songs—it and “Uraeus” are already the lengthiest they’ve ever released. “Das Narrenschiff” ends things on a satisfyingly fucked-up note, capably wrapping up this superb return to form. Welcome back!