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I recently got Norther’s sophomore effort, Mirror of Madness and I must say I am very impressed with this band. Being a huge melodic death metal fan, this album delivers the goods which people like me so desperately crave. It’s got high octane riffing but the real magic lies in the melodies which provide great hooks for the songs.
The first track, “Blackhearted,” has an opening riff that is very attention grabbing. The use of a pinch harmonic is very effective here. The next song, however, is one that’s really great. The title is “Betrayed” and from start to finish this song is one of the best tracks on the album. The chorus is especially good on this song and I often find myself head banging slightly harder to that part. The solo on this number, as well as every other song is superb.
My favorite song, however, is the track entitled “Midnight Walker.” The lyrics are great and so is the rhythm work, but like all great melodic death songs the hook is what’s important. This song actually has two great hooks in both the pre-chorus and chorus. “Unleash Hell” is also another excellent song. The lyrics are what set that song apart and are probably some of the best on the album.
This album also has a cover song. What band did Norther choose to cover? Well it’s not exactly a band you’d expect. They covered Smash by The Offspring, and as odd as this may seem it’s actually a very good cover. I would have liked it if they had added a solo to it but oh well, it still sounds really good.
With Norther, especially their first two albums, there is obviously going to be Children of Bodom comparisons. However, for me there is just something about this band that sets them apart from CoB, but if you are a fan of Alexi and the rest of Bodom you’ll probably love Norther as well. One recognizable difference, for me at least, between Norther and CoB is the fact that Norther’s lyric’s tend not to be quite as cheesy which I thoroughly enjoy. In summary, Norther is one of those bands that when they are good they are good but they are great they’re unbelievable.