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   NORTHER
Mirror Of Madness
2003
Spinefarm
http://www.norther.net


rating: 4/5

1. Blackhearted
2. Betrayed
3. Of Darkness And Light
4. Midnight Walker
5. Cry
6. Everything Is An End
7. Unleash Hell
8. Dead
9. Mirror Of Madness
Happy? Hell no, these guys look and sound rather angry. Norther from Finland are back with their second album called "Mirror Of Madness". They caught some attention with their debut release "Dreams Of Endless War" and were more than often compared to their fellow countrymen Children of Bodom. With this new effort the comparison to Children of Bodom shouldn't be that obvious, although there are still some moments when one simply can't avoid thinking of the comparison. So, melodic death metal, or extreme power metal if you will, is the case. Screechy growling vocals, crispy guitar work and synth creating its layers to the overall atmosphere. Compared to the debut album Norther have managed to go towards a sound of their own, but the some influences are still noticeable. To be more precise, bands like Children of Bodom, In Flames and some Nightwish kind of power metal are worth mentioning.

Norther are not quite a "let's just lean to the memorable chorus" kind of band, but instead a certain raw straight-forwardness is quite well in balance with the melodies. The songwriting is solid, as there are no filler material on the album but instead there are some "almost-future-classics". The album is provided with enough hooks, so that it lasts more than just one listen. Mostly the album is "full speed ahead bombardment" but there are also some more mellow and slower parts, that add some variation to the final outcome and thus make it more interesting. Productionwise the album is top notch, as one might expect from a Spinefarm release. Being recorded at Astia and mixed and mastered at Finnvox is a guarantee of high quality. They're not actually creating anything groundbreakingly new with this one, but surely take at least one step forward from the debut album. All in all, I'd say if you want melodies and aggressiveness in one package, try Norther.


submitted by Aleksi 01.05.2003

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