Norther - Circle Regenerated
Label: Century Media Records
Reviewer: Rak Hiasat - 2012-09-05
Highlights: Hear You Call My Name
Before going any further with this review, I really just want to say one thing: We've already got Children of Bodom and this album does not differ a lot from their style.
This Finland-based band, Norther, was formed in 1996 and they regard themselves as a melodic death metal band. Mirror Of Madness was the first album I've ever heard by them and it was really unique and really professional, but now I think they literally stabbed and torn the true meaning of death metal by releasing their newest album, Circle Regenerated.
The vocalist is probably one of the worst vocalists I'd ever heard in 2011. His voice is not steady, sounds irregular and his tone was out of good melody and performance and... I can say this is just not singing. To be honest, though, I enjoyed the solos and riffs with knowledge in my head that it sounds more like thrash metal, but even though, the riffs are still quite good, really fast-paced and are accompanied by undeniably awesome guitar solos, so I can probably say the solos from the album were the highlight of it, but the problem there is that it does not fit in with the band's message and style.
I found the drums section to be of typical melodic death metal sound. Just audible and clear, even if a lot of drumming rudiments divert away from the whole song. The breaks are not as good as on the other albums, for me I see this as a backwards evolution. It's always about looking for the weird new stuff in melodeath music, in my opinion, to see what new additions bands bring to the table, but this hasn't satisfied.
The keyboardist fairly goes for a typical performance on the record, sounds lazy and boring in some parts, and sometimes just comes off as kicking late from the guitars, but to be fair there are some unforgettable moments through the keys. Some of the choruses are just okay, but as for the rest it's not. The album's constant reminders of itself as total crap don’t help too much, though. Releasing the album, the band probably was going more for a pop band with metal sounds, and they made it head to be an epic fail of an album just even more by singing a cover song, "Bimbo", for a Swedish pop-rock band called Lambretta. The album also contains an acoustic song called "Hear You Call My Name ", it’s the only track I can actually recommend in the album for anyone.
Perhaps fans of.. let's say it once more, Children Of Bodom, might enjoy the album more than I did, but it's just not my thing. I'm sure, though, they will be very happy with this release.