Norther - Till Death Unites Us
Spinefarm Records
Melodic Death Metal
12 songs (45:57)
Release year: 2006
Norther, Spinefarm Records
Reviewed by Kayla

As an unabashed fan of melodic death metal, Norther is one of the names that’s always come highly recommended to me, and for good reason. Their previous efforts have been solid pieces of work with a decidedly Children of Bodom flair (though not with the same level of copy-cat worship Imperanon has achieved). However, they have apparently decided to go in a rather different direction on their latest offering. Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising, given the general trend that has plagued most of the heavy hitters of the genre, including Children of Bodom. Whatever the reason for this change, Till Death Unites Us is slower-paced and more simplistic, favoring midtempo chugging riffs with tinkling keyboard lines and clean vocals making a few appearances.

The album starts off fairly strongly, with some of the more energetic songs. Throwing My Life Away comes on with a crashing synth line that gets subsumed into a crunchy, growling riff and a deep expostulation from vocalist Petri Lindroos (Norther, Ensiferum). The song settles into a frenetic, staccato rhythm mirrored by Lindroos’s vocals. The synths return in the chorus, which has a much smoother, drawn-out sound to it, again mirrored in the vocal line. Continuing the glut of melody is an interesting if fairly mild solo. The next two tracks, Drowning and the rather cheesily-titled Norther, follow this pattern to some success, though none of them are candidates for melodeath song of the year. Norther also features a strange acoustic accent that floats above the rest of the song, but is soft enough that it only registers after repeated listenings, and though it does bring some needed variety in the form of layering, it’s confusing to hear. Two of the songs at the end of the album, Die and The End Of Our Lives, are much the same; forgettable chugging melodeath similar in structure to In Flames, Soilwork and [insert generic melodeath band here].

The middle of the album sees a definite downfall, however, starting with Everything. I can only surmise that some woman has done Lindroos wrong, as he’s growling an emo song. The theme of black-hearted wimmin continues with Evil Ladies, which is an ok song that suffers from incredibly silly lyrics. Things slow down considerably with Omen, Scream and Wasted Years, all of which feature clean vocals (in my always-humble opinion, Lindroos is a better growler than singer) in their choruses and melodic, floating synth lines. Though there’s little Children of Bodom influence on Till Death Unites Us in terms of the overall sound, one song in particular captures the spirit, and a bit of the sound, of Hate Crew Deathroll. Fuck You is exactly what it sounds like, and doesn’t really involve a whole lot of lyrical variety. It's by far the worst song on the album, and one of those that make me glad I live in the age of the "skip track" button.

Unfortunately, Norther have created what amounts to just another lump in the piles of mediocre melodic death offal. With the overwhelming and simplistic melodies present in most of the songs, and the rather emo lyrics making their presence known, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to surmise that Norther are attempting to be more accessible to the mainstream market, as In Flames and Soilwork have done. Whatever the reason, better to avoid this one; it’s nothing we haven’t heard before, and better.

Killing Songs :
Throwing My Life Away, The End Of Our Lives
Kayla quoted 69 / 100
Ken quoted 75 / 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 - Death Unlimited reviewed by Jay and quoted 87 / 100
Norther - Mirror of Madness reviewed by Jay and quoted 81 / 100
To see all 8 reviews click here
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