Nodian, according to the band, translates to "a wanderer of god-forsaken earth." The same piece of paper holding this info also stated that the Finnish band has been together since 2009, and that "Blessed Mockeries" is their debut demo.
In case you're into namedropping, it's to be mentioned that the band features members from such groups as Charnel Winds, Funerary Bell and Verge. In this light, it isn't a wonder that the band's music has a lot of elements (both musically and lyrically) in common with black metal, even though the group prefers to call their music extreme metal.
The demo opens up with a dramatic seven-minuter. Its mid-tempo riffs have a great, strong rhythm that the drums back up more than well. The deep and raspy growls are very capable, and the interludes and abundant nuances bring out the band's style and talent in a flattering manner. The song has a melodic chorus which has an epic atmosphere that grows in an almost theatrical manner - and does it without seeming fake or pompous, too. The roughness of black metal goes in perfect unison with the more modern influences.
The following five-minuter is somewhat similar to its predecessor, but does everything in a bit darker, heavier, rougher and simpler manner. The rhythms are very appealing despite their simplisticity, but I can only wonder what's the meaning of the waltz-section in the song's half-way. I don't have anything against that branch of music, but the segment's first half seems really out of place and weirdly cheery when compared with the rest of the song. Luckily it soon evolves into a more coherent form.
The last song lasts for ten minutes. It features a more melancholic atmosphere and some acoustics alongside the rhythm-heavy metal, and is overall a good composition. I just feel that it could've been taken much further; it doesn't really reach a climax at any point. It's something of a disappointment since there are a lot of elements and build-ups in the song that made me assume and expect for something greater and more surprising to happen. The composition allows a lot of possibilities, but in the end it's played too safe.
The above critique about kind of leaving things in the awkward grey/safe area could be said about the sound as well. The soundscape is rough, clear and professional and in that sense it's all-around satisfying, but there would be much greater options as well. The riffs' rhythms could've been brought up and highlighted in a manner that would've given the songs a stronger pulse and drive, and the contrasts between the band's main expression and the occasional acoustic and mellow moments could be bolder. The playing sounds lively, so it's a great shame that there are a lot of small nuances that aren't brought up properly but are instead hidded in the mixing. The soundscape has some personality, true, but I think that at least the first two songs might work better in a live-situation with a rougher sound. Perhaps time will tell.
Although I am not the biggest admirer of slipcases, I still have to say that this CD-R's packaging looks damn amazing. It's simple, stylish, and very pleasing dispite its minimalism. The lyrics about human torment and slavery to deities and wrong morals are a very pleasing read, too, as they're very well written and manage to provoke a thought here and there.
Despite my criticism, this CD-R is great for a debut demo. The musicians seem very talented and the compositions make me assume that the band's capable of delivering some truly great and original songs in the future. Nodian's current plans are to release a split-recording with Ancient Hatred, and I'm looking forward to hearing it.