|Review: Norther - Dreams Of Endless War|
|Dreams Of Endless War|
Label: SpineFarm Records
Year released: 2002
Review online: May 27, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:Dreams Of Endless War
This is release number three for these Finns, but only their sophomore full-length, as their last one was the EP "Unleash Hell" – not hard to figure out the kinds of movies these guys like.
I’m not sure the world strictly needs a Children of Bodom tribute act, but that’s essentially what Norther are. In fact, you might be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the two. Here we have the same power-metal/death riffing with the one-dimensional screaming vocals and the backup keyboards providing mood. Norther don’t have the benefit of Alex Laiho’s nimble fretwork on the solos, but they do OK, and their lyrics are nowhere near as stupid.
The music here is actually pretty good, with solid riffs and some very nice solo work that is very Finnish, sounding like a thrashier Sentenced at times. As I said, Norther’s only real weakness is in the vocal department, the screaming is quite monotonous and utterly incomprehensible and does nothing to add to the music, in fact it often becomes so annoying as to distract from it.
Now I am not a fan of bonus tracks in general, and death-covers of melodic songs never fly in my opinion, so the two bonus cuts here are really on thin ice. "Final Countdown" (!) sounds really out of place, and the shrieky vocals make it silly. "Youth Gone Wild" is better, but it is so close it sounds like they just had their screamer karaoke the original. Ugh. Either way, two butt-rock cover tunes on a 10-track album is pushing it.
CD case is a thrice-cursed digipack, but the cover art is very cool, and the interior design goes along with the deep-blue-frozen-north vibe. As I said, the lyrics are better than COB, but not high art by any stretch.
Bottom line, if you like Children of Bodom, you will like this. But if you have never cared for Laiho and Co., stay away, because this is really more of the same.
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