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Sweetness - 97%

Headbangingcorpse, October 29th, 2004

Wow. This CD blew me away after listening to it. It’s fast, melodic, and catchy...but, are they a rip off of Children of Bodom? A lot of people say yes, but the fact is, there are few bands that play this same style, and every band after CoB will be compared to them. Every band in the same genre will sound a like, or atleast slightly similar. Now to the actual music...

Norther is a combination of power and melodic atmospheric “black” metal, so to speak. Almost everything about this album is absolutely perfect. The production is awesome, everything can be heard, and the guitars have a sweet yet aggressive tone to them. There are also incredible guitar solos in virtually every song :D. They use a lot of keyboards, which keep the atmosphere. They overlap guitars, and use a lot of background choirs which sound awesome. The drumming is done really well. Though nothing in particular in them grabs your attention, they keep a steady fast beat that moves the songs along. The vocals are very similar to Alexi of CoB, which isn’t a bad thing. Except you can distinguish them because Norther’s are high but stronger yet sound a little muffled. They fit beautifully with the music. Might I add, the lyrics are really awesome, and seem like they had a little more thought put into them than those of CoB. In the booklet, some of the songs are actually printed in a way where you have to look in a mirror to truly read them, neat idea.

The album starts off with “Blackhearted”, which is a nicely done song that’s fast paced, and has a fucking awesome keyboard solo towards the end.
“Betrayed” is after that, with a similar beginning. This song gets a lot darker with a much more evil tune and angrier lyrics. “Of Darkness and Light” is after that, and starts out with dualing keyboards and guitars, and awesome intro. The song has some beautiful piano in the chorus, and the intro is played somewhere in the middle, except with a really catchy beat. “Midnight Walker” is probably one of my favorites. It is a nice fast song with fucking awesome melodic riffs, and a sweet keyboard solo. After that, “Cry” starts off with an angry intro which I love, where Petri Lindroos lets out a really low-pitched growl, and I’m pretty sure it’s the only time he does anything like that. The chorus is pretty slow, but the song speeds up in the middle with sweet solos, and a fucking insane keyboard solo yet again. “Everything is an End” is a good fast track with awesome atmospheric keyboards, and I think they actually used a shout choir on this and some of the other songs. This song is pretty good, nothing out of the ordinary though. “Unleash Hell” sounds like the name. From start to finish, this song is one fucking pissed bitch, in a good way. It’s fast, and has insane solos. This might be another one of my favorites. “Dead” is definitely my favorite. Not only does it have the outstanding qualities of a regular Norther song, but in the middle, they have both guitars and the keyboards all playing with each other, and it is just fucking amazing. The last is the title track, “Mirror of Madness”. This song is decent, but I think Norther were trying to be a little more aggressive than they should be. There are some good tunes, but some parts are just like god dammit, this riff blows, or something.

Overall, Norther are a really fucking talented band, and if you’re a fan of Children of Bodom, you should definitely check this band out. They’re from Finland and they are ready to kick ass.