Norther - No Way Back
Spinefarm Records
Melodic Death Metal
5 songs (20'56)
Release year: 2007
Norther, Spinefarm Records
Reviewed by Chris

There is indeed no way back for this band. Their debut album is, to this day, one of the best epic melodic death metal albums of all times (for me that is). Of course its not your typical melodeath release, as its main essence is power metal music, with agressive harsh vocals, and the overall result is a pure premium experience that Norther will never again be able to deliver. The more years passed the more the band followed the commercial trends like In Flames or Children Of Bodom. Except In Flames are able, today still, to go back to their roots to deliver awesome songs, while Norther is in my opinion, totally uninterested into searching into their roots.

The first song of this single : Frozen Angel, mixes harsh vocals with clean vocals in the chorus part. The clean vocals sound a tad gothic and this doesn't bode well for Norther in my opinion as the last thing they are is gothic in any way (imho that is !). The second track is a very powerful, agressive song, almost devoid of melody except then and there (like in the song's break or the guitar solo). Its a pure heavy song with the main emotion being felt is probably hate. The riffing is uninspired, and even the semi-melodic solo isn't enough to save the day : another blah song to add to Norther's discography (its not like its gonna feel alone in the graveyard of uninspired Norther songs)! The title song is actually better, it has some nice overal melody and a catchy (finally !) chorus. Its not a very fast song, but it delivers for the first time on this EP. The song is sad and yet powerful at the same time, with some passion and an almost lost song-writing. If the band can deliver an album full of songs of this quality, then I would still see hope for Norther yet, even though its clear the Epic Metal days of the debut album are gone and probably so for good. The fourth song Reach Out, is a supersonic aggression, and a melodic one too, and while the EP started really bad, it takes a good turn (at least for the duration of two songs). The guitars are raging in this song and for the first time in a while I actually appreciate what I'm listening here. The chorus is very powerful and melodic and the use of choirs helps. Close Your Eyes concludes this EP and its a good song, without being stellar but still it has its moment. It reminds me of Norther's third album : Death Unlimited with the addition of clean vocals that is.

While this single shows some really interesting things, it is mixed with boring and unoriginal stuff. If the album concentrates on delivering songs in the style of the No Way Back and Reach Out, it might acually be interesting and worthwile. Only time will tell, but don't (ever) expect a return to the Dreams Of Endless War days, apparently the band doesn't really appreciate that album for what it is (a true and unique masterpiece) and think they evolve and progress with each new album (when it fact its the opposite). So these days are unfortunately over for good and Norther is really another band today. For better or for worse is yours to decide, as you can tell I already made my choice in this particular matter.

Killing Songs :
Reach Out & No Way Back
Chris quoted 62 / 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 - Till Death Unites Us reviewed by Kayla and quoted 69 / 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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There are 2 replies to this review. Last one on Wed Apr 18, 2007 6:41 pm
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