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As soon as the first few notes of the opening song "Throwing My Life Away" blast from the CD player, it is clear that Norther isn’t resting on its laurels. wird schnell klar, dass sich Norther kein bisschen auf ihren Lorbeeren ausruhen. Already with their previous album "Death Unlimited", Norther managed to silence most of the critics who were comparing them to Children Of Bodom. Old school trash/death. Hard, fast drums, powerful guitars – with many great solos and Petri Lindroos’ raspy voice on top of it. "Till Death Unites Us" has a bit less keyboards than "Death Unlimited" had, but enough to give the songs the necessary atmosphere. "Omen" has the most keyboard parts and is the only ballad besides „Wasted Years“ – oh well... as far as you can speak of a ballad in Norther terms. On „Omen“ you can enjoy the beautiful voice of Kristian Ranta, who sings the clean vocals. You don’t really notice an actual ballad until the next song "Scream" brutally wakes you up again. In the middle of the playlist is the amusing song "Booh!", definitely one of those songs on which the band must have had a hard time trying not to laugh. Should someone ever make Scream IV (or is there already a part IV?), this song will be very apropriate. "Fuck You" sounds more platitudinous than it is, but it does its name justice nonetheless and it will probably be a hit, since this is the only song on the album I don’t particularly like. But you can growl along and the guitar sound is great. With "Wasted Years" on which, besides Petri, Kristian takes up the mic and "The End Of Our Lives", the band has produced two excellent pieces. Despite its aggressiveness, the album is very melodic, has a couple of very catchy songs on it, was perfectly produced and is fun. Considering all of these factors, I can assure you this CD will be in my player a little longer and I can recommend this album to everyone. 9/10
The single "Scream":
"Scream" and "Wasted Years" (clean version) together with "Fuck You" will form a single, that will be released two weeks before the album is (at least in Finland – unfortunately I don’t know when they will be released outside of Finland). "Scream" is to the pointm fun and typical Norther. With "Fuck You" they have chosen a song that is a little bit under the maturity level of the band, but it will probably do well in bars. "Wasted Years" is one of the moset beautiful songs and it is presented in a way that is uncharacteristically melancholy and and tragic for Norther. In this clean version Petri is chased away from the mic and Kristian demonstrates that this song sounds completely different clean. With a lot of feeling and a few guitar solos to prevent the song from becoming overly melancholy, this is an unusual Norther song, but it’s very beautiful. For true fans, it would be nice to have the song in this version, or maybe for people who would like to hear Petri’s voice quietly in the background for a change. The other two songs are on the album in the same version.
Since I reviewed both the album and the single at the same time, I have given both one and the same rating. I will try to find out what the song "Wasted Years" is all about, as well as some other stuff, when I interview Norther’s singer Petri Lindroos. Have a look at the Stories/Interviews section next week!