Monday, 20 December 2010

CD Review: Dreams Of Endless War, by Norther (2002)

A robust and compact package of melodic death metal with plenty of folk and classical garnishing, Norther deliver an energetic, purposeful, and confident debut.

Perhaps less inspired but also less frantic than the best of Children Of Bodom, the compositions on Dreams Of Endless War feature catchy and powerful hooks, a prominent but integrated role for the keyboards, and a great assortment of battlefield-inspired melodies.  Pete Lindroos and Kristian Ranta deliver satisfying solos with emphasis on technique and timing without pushing outside their zone of comfort.  The vocals from Lindroos are high pitched and controlled.

Opener Darkest Hour sets the stage with a mature galloping riff, and an energy sustained for more than six minutes to announce the band's arrival. Endless War and Victorious One are the other CD stand-outs, both well over five minutes and built on soaring, medieval hooks.  There is no weak material on the album, and the restraint shown by the band to limit the length to eight full-length tracks is admirable and definitely welcomed.

A terrific death metal cover of Europe's Final Countdown closes the album; a fitting ending to a memorable career launch.


Toni Hallio - Drums
Jukka Koskinen - Bass
Pete Lindroos - Lead Guitars, Vocals
Tuomas Planman - Synthesizer
Kristian Ranta - Lead Guitars

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Darkest Time - 9
2. Last Breath - 7
3. Released - 8
4. Endless War - 10
5. Dream - 8
6. Victorious One - 9
7. Nothing Left - 8
8. The Last Night - n/a (short instrumental) 
9. Final Countdown - 10

Average: 8.63

Recorded by Tuomo Valtonen.  Mixed by Mikko Karmila.
Mastered by Mika Jussila.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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