Nordic Union cd review.
Something that Frontiers Records Srl do better than 99% of record companies is the ability to get established artists to collaborate on new material and projects and when results are as spectacular as this then we all should be thankful.
On January 29th Nordic Union release their debut cd which sees Pretty Maids vocalist Ronnie Atkins and singer/songwriter/producer Erik Martensson of Eclipse and W.E.T. combine forces on a melodic rock masterpiece that will be on many best of list's come the end of 2016.
Nordic Union is 11 tracks of all killer no filler ballsy melodic rock with huge choruses that will have you singing along for weeks.Add to that big guitar riffs and solo's and drums and a wonderful production that gives the whole cd a real shine and the only downer is it coming out in January so the car roof can't come down!!Maybe!
Ronnie Atkins's voice suits the rocking material perfectly and Erik does all guitar's,bass and keyboards with his Eclipse band mate Magnus Ulfstedt on drums.There are a couple of guest guitar solo spots with Thomas Larsson on Every Heartbeat and Wide Awake,Frederik Folkare on Point Of No Return and Hypocrisy and Eclipse's Magnus Henriksson on The War Has Begun.
The War Has Begun opens the cd in great fashion which after a short acoustic guitar intro kicks into a mid paced stomper with a great chugging riff and the production skills of Erik to the fore as the bass rumbles alongside a thumping drum rhythm and a superb guitar sound.As like every song on the cd it has a superb chorus built for sing alongs and a short sharp flurried guitar solo from Henriksson.
Hypocrisy is built on a stop start guitar riff that goes into overdrive pre chorus and some nice added whoa whoas after the chorus.Superb melodic guitar solo from Folklare with Erik on full on guitar riffing mode and the production again superb as the rhythm team pound away as the rock the music is built on.
Wide Awake sees a melodic guitar part intro with keyboards playing the same riff before it drops to Atkins vocal and a drum rhythm which then explodes into life pre chorus as Erik's hard edged but melodic riff kicks some serious ass before another huge chorus!!Again the production excels with the bass drum of Magnus kicking into the side of your head every time.
Every Heartbeat sees a slowing of pace with a modern take on a ballad with acoustic guitar but still ballsy drums and added guitar textures from Erik.Ronnie shows off his vocal magnificence before Thomas Larsson's guest guitar solo fits the song like a glove.
When Death Is Calling has a Pretty Maids feel to it with a big guitar riff before the song dips and then pre chorus goes up a notch or ten.Great use of light and shade which ups the melodic content but also the power of the production and guitar riff!!Huge huge chorus with added background vocals too.
21 Guns is simply fantastic.Galloping drums and huge background vocals with a subtle keyboard flavour alongside a real pacy drum rhythm and Erik's insistent melodic guitar riff.
The chorus is just brilliant with such an infectious hook that makes you want to play it over and over again.Such a great song that would be a main part of a live set.
Falling sees a different drum rhythm and picked guitar parts before all kicking in pre chorus to another stomping chorus and driving guitar riff and more woah woah's alongside Ronnie in the chorus.Big background vocals give it added depth.
The Other Side sees a melodic guitar riff race the song along with a no drop in pace and plenty of Erik's trademark guitar flourishes.Ronnie as on the whole cd produces the goods.Erik's guitar solo shows he can do no wrong and that he is a master at all facets.
Point Of No Return keeps up the pace with a matching guitar and keyboard riff and a big chorus with more subtle background vocals.Another classy melodic rock gem.
True Love Awaits sees an acoustic guitar led ballad and Ronnie showing his class.Huge multi layered backing vocal on the chorus and the production again top drawer as the drums still crack and the bass rumble even on a slower number.
Go rounds it all off as I always hope with a rocking number and a big chorus.Erik's guitar riff crashes along on and Magnus shows that his switch to bass in Eclipse hasn't dulled his drumming senses in any way.
Put quite simply a superb cd full of top draw melodic rock and we can only hope that Erik and Ronnie get time in their busy schedules to continue this special relationship and this is just the start for Nordic Union.