Ho damn, no one has even looked at this page yet. It's sad I'm the first one to review this.
Ever since hitting the scene back in 2002, Norther has kept their momentum rolling. All their albums and singles have graced the charts (In Europe). However, they have never erupted passed north European territory. Touring commitments have never been much of a commitment, except mostly local half-drunken gigs. Their music has been aggressive since day one, but not without melodies hand in hand. While Bodom changed their sound (which led to a not-so-stellar release), Norther changed their album tone from arctic, cold, and blue to fire, red, and death.
The album fires plenty of melodic and heavy riffing, fast rhythms with improved vocals, catchy dual lead melodies, and charging virtuosic solos. The musical relationship between Lindroos and Ranta, with their sharpened axes, has never been better. The keyboards keep on experimenting with small details while also adding that signature Norther atmosphere no band can touch.
Rising up to the challenge, lead guitarist Kristian Ranta lends his pure voice to three songs: "Omen", "Alone In The End", and "Wasted Years". Three out of twelve isn't much, and for those who enjoy it, they may feel like one or two more songs with Kride's vocals wouldn't hurt. Due to the extreme and fast nature of the material, the clean singing is not forced into every track, which is a smart move. With his vocals fused into these songs, the rest of the group ultimately have to keep a slower pace because Ranta's voice isn't able to keep up with the ensuing shredding. I don't resent them, but apparently there's more work to be done before they should be exposed in greater contexts. This isn't to say that Kride doesn't have a good voice, but compared to four years of Petri fronting, it comes out experimental.
Norther may have some of the worst song titles and generic lyrics on the face of this planet, but they are a prime example of thrilling Finnish Melodic Death Metal. They still reign high with their cousins Children Of Bodom and 2nd cousins Amorphis, so there's a good chance -Till Death Unites Us- will attract new fans and not lose dedicated followers in the process.