|Norther - 'Circle Regenerated' (Century Media)|
|Written by David Whistance|
|Sunday, 17 April 2011 05:00|
Whilst a lot of younger metal fans are sinking their teeth into the likes Of Lamb Of God, Machine Head and Devil Driver from across the Atlantic there is another fine metal band that could easily rival any of the aforementioned bands who are about to release their sixth album, but why haven't we heard of this band? The band in question being Helsinki death metal band Norther, and I imagine there are many people out there like myself who were unaware of Norther's musical heritage. But after listening to 'Circle Regenerated' I believe this could be the album that not only opens the door for this band but also smashes it off its hinges before pulverising it into thousands of insignificant pieces.
Already a huge commodity in their native Finland with their debut album 'Dreams Of Endless Ways' entering the Finish album charts at number 17, this new album kicks off in grand fashion with 'Through It All' incorporating a crushing drum pattern courtesy of Heikki Saari who also keeps up a frantic pace throughout the ten tracks that make up the album. That is not to say that there aren't gentler moments on the album, as there are, such as on the piano led intro of 'Falling', a more melodic affair whilst remaining as equally as heavy as any of their counterparts.
Whilst the band may be being labelled as "Death Metal", I feel they have far more strings to their bow, as there are definite thrash elements throughout, along with a great melodic flavour courtesy of guitarist Kristian Ranta who delivers a fantastic melodic vocal style that plays yin to the deathly screams of lead vocalist Aleksi Sihvonen's yang. It is that brutal vocal style of Aleksi Sihvinen that really sets the pace for these Finish Metaller's and will hopefully see the band get the worldwide recognition they so rightly deserve. If I was to give a comparison to any other band then it would be a definite nod towards Swedish metal band In Flames another band that occupies the perfect blend of death metal whilst retaining a melodic edge. That is not to say that a nod shouldn't be given to the remainder of the band as the musicianship throughout the album is unsurpassed.
I would even give a huge thumbs up to keyboard player Tuomas Planman whose understated keyboard style remains an essential key to the band's make up and considering my usually vocal opinions on the use of keyboards in metal that can only be a compliment.
If you are tired of waiting for your favourite band to release their next album then I'd recommend anyone get a copy of 'Circle Regenerated', a truly heavy prospect whilst remaining superbly melodic.