Norther - Death Unlimited
Spinefarm Records
Finnish Melodeath
12 songs (50:59)
Release year: 2004
Norther, Spinefarm Records
Reviewed by Jay

While it’s hard to review a Norther album without mentioning the reigning kings of Finnish melodic death metal, Children of Bodom, it’s something that cannot be avoided. It’s been less than a year since we’ve heard from this band, having released their last album Mirror of Madness only 11 months ago. The wonders of ProTools and other pro audio software enabling faster recording times is something that we could only dream of years ago. With this release, Norther is clearly trying to distance and distinguish themselves from Children of Bodom by incorporating new influences from other Finnish bands.

This album is victim of one of the same problems that their last release was victim of. While drummer Tony Hallio is more than capable behind the kit, he’s not one of the more interesting drummers in metal today. His patters are standard and while acceptable there is no flair on drums as when one listens to Jaska Raatikainen (Bodom). He defaults to the same patterns song after song and this wears thin after a little while. The bulk of the rest of the recording is fine however. The guitars and keys are perfectly fit to the music and the vocals are top notch. Notable about the vocals is the increased usage of choir vocals as heard with bands like Kalmah and Moonsorrow. Songs like “A Fallen Star” demonstrate this perfectly. The title track has gang attack vocals during the chorus which reminds me of Bodom more than any other aspect of this recording. While there are keyboards, they’re much more atmospheric and less attacking like with Bodom. The requisite guitar and keyboard solos that boggle your mind are present as well.

While Mirror of Madness featured many slower songs, this one is a lot more up-tempo. I remember having a good time with several different girls while Mirror of Madness played in the background. This music is not good for the same purpose, I’m afraid. The album starts off with two straight kicks in the teeth in “Deep Inside” and the title track. Both are speedy reminders that Norther can kick ass. The title track really has some power behind it with gang vocals all over the place and a nice, catchy chorus. “Chasm” slows things down a bit but maintains a good vibe while “Vain” speeds it right back up and juxtaposes some moments of brutality with calm, soothing and almost jazzy breakdowns. The album closer “Going Nowhere” kicks it into high gear again and ends the disc on a high note. The solos here are particularly killing and should be listened to.

All in all, this is a better disc than their last one and Norther is advancing their sound. While it seems that any band coming out of Finland these days playing this style of music can be called a Children of Bodom copy, this band is beginning to find their own voice and I eagerly anticipate their next record.

Killing Songs :
Death Unlimited, Deep Inside, Going Nowhere, Vain, A Fallen Star
Jay quoted 87 / 100
Aleksie quoted 84 / 100
Chris quoted 92 / 100
Other albums by Norther that we have reviewed:
Norther - Circle Regenerated reviewed by Tony and quoted 54 / 100
Norther - N reviewed by Chris and quoted 77 / 100
Norther - No Way Back reviewed by Chris and quoted 62 / 100
Norther - Till Death Unites Us reviewed by Kayla and quoted 69 / 100
Norther - Mirror of Madness reviewed by Jay and quoted 81 / 100
To see all 8 reviews click here
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