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Review: NorthTale - Welcome to Paradise
Welcome to Paradise

Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2019
Duration: 53:06
Tracks: 13
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: February 10, 2021
Reviewed by: Christian Renner
Readers Rating
Welcome to Paradise

Rated 4/5 (80%) (3 Votes)

NorthTale is a bit of a power metal supergroup if you take a look at the members' former bands. Yngwie Malmsteen, Twilight Force, U.D.O. and Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Just because your credentials point to the fact that you should be able to create something impressive, it is no guarantee. Well, nothing to worry about here. If you are looking for some incredibly well done out-and-out power metal that harkens back to the 1990s when bands like Stratovarius and Gamma Ray were (arguably) at their peak, look no further.

This band absolutely revels in the absolute best parts of power metal. Upbeat songs with catchy riffs and sing along choruses are the order of the day and never strays far from that single focus. Some people may say this is a one-trick pony but sometimes you just need that. This album just makes you FEEL good. It puts a smile on your face as you sing along as you are driving down the highway at speeds that are probably a bad idea. Instantly memorable riffs and solos with drums that could be a clinic on power metal drumming. The vocals are top-notch with plenty of variation and vocal hooks just this side of Helloween. Every part of this album is a power metal fan's dream come true. This album was released in 2019 and I have to admit, I listened to it quite a bit in 2020. We all know how miserable things were/are and this album just does a great job of lifting your spirits. Songs like "Higher" and "Shape your Reality" are an instantaneous mood lifter.

Something else worthy of note is how this was recorded. The song files were sent back and forth between members and they added their parts and sent it along. They must have known what was going to happen because these guys were social distancing before it was cool. Seriously, though, you would never guess this album was not recorded in a single studio and it just shows the level of professionalism here.

You could argue that this album is very formulaic, and it doesn't do anything new or inventive and I'm sure that argument holds some weight, but sometimes you NEED an album like this. This is simply a great listen with catchy as hell songs that will burn themselves into your mind. It isn't trying to change the face of power metal, it is simply trying to have a good time and these guys pull this off in spades.

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