Album Review | NOOR (Canada) - Mother's Guilty Pleasure Part One (2024)

Band: Noor
Country: Canada
Album: Mother's Guilty Pleasure Part One
Release year: 2024

It’s been a few years since my last review was shared with the masses and I honestly wasn’t planning to have any reviews drafted anytime soon, but here we are. Here we are again, myself behind a keyboard trying to express the whirlwind of feelings caused by the molten metal that flows through the headphones over my head as I type these words.

About a week ago, my social media feed started overflowing with posts related to the latest metal sensation named Noor, to an unprecedented level that approached borderline “Hype”. Many friends from all over the globe shared their first feelings about how amazed they were by the debut album of Canada’s Noor and they were urging the rest of us, in a call to arms, to stop whatever we were doing and listen to this masterpiece. Nowadays I have to admit that I don’t have as much time dedicated to listening to new releases as previously but when I have the opportunity I give it a try and many times I get amazed. So I heard the call and I gave it a try, but getting so hooked with “Mother’s Guilty Pleasure - Part One” is something I was definitely not expecting.

First of all, I personally cannot frame this in any specific sub-genre, as these guys managed to pay homage to all the good things heavy metal has to offer. From the opening track, the audience is embargoed on an epic journey and for nearly an hour (56 minutes) the band progressively traverses through a variety of tempos and rhythms delivering one shock after another. One could argue that the album mingles along the USPM lines alternating with some prog-power parts, but I also get strong vibes of euro-power melodic lines in the choruses and verses. Same goes with several parts in the guitarwork, with heavy resemblances of Enforcer (Sweden) and a constant worshiping to British Metal behemoths (Judas Priest, Iron Maiden). That being said, do expect a broad spectrum of melodies as the album progresses, with intercontinental jumps between the two shores of the Atlantic. Notable examples of this can be found in tracks such as Hills Of Qartaba and Hoodlum (Tony Moore-era Riot).

Though the whole band works in perfect unison, what really stands out are the twin guitars that deliver a massive riff rampage and dual solo obliteration, along with the powerful high pitched vocal performance. If I had to describe the singer with an example, I would say it feels like you took Nicholas Leptos (Arrayan Path, ex-Warlord) and you administered a dose of steroids on his vocal chords, sounding more North American (Riot City anyone?). Especially in parts of the Flaming Rage and the Forgiving Eyes I had the urge to double check if Nicholas was singing.

Worth mentioning is that the album has not yet been officially released in any physical format, and you can only get it digitally from the band’s Bandcamp website. This also serves as a shoutout to the band that we patiently await for a Vinyl-CD bundle (take my money!) as well as a warning to all the labels out there (Why is this band not signed yet?!).

The purpose I wrote this mini review was to bring to your attention these newcomers hailing from Montreal. Even if a single person gets to enjoy this album because of this article, I consider this a success. Share the steel and do let me know of your comments regarding this amazing piece of heavy metal that has caused me to come out of the lair where I laid hidden for several years to write again. The headbanging is real...

PS: To the band: Part 2 please? Thanks.

Michalis “Starchild” Benakis
March 2024