(9/10) Frontiers President Serafino Perugino has obviously a passion for bringing together various musicians for projects that end up in releases on his label. The newest project is called Nordic Union which is a collaboration between Pretty Maids singer Ronnie Atkins and W.E.T. mainman Erik Martensson.
Normally there is a kind of competition between Denmark and Sweden but those two guys make crystal clear that a partnership can even lead to better results. Nordic Union's debut is a very strong one. It's an album that is full of killers. Atkins' unique rough vocals and Martensson's excellent sense for hooks and melodies make this record to one of the strongest melodic metal releases of the last years.
The opener "The War Has Begun" sets the tone of voice for this longplayer. It's a hard one, it's a rough one and it's a melodic one. I haven't heard Atkins that good since quite a while. I was reminded to the earlier Pretty Maids days when I heard the track.
Also the stomper "When Death is Calling" is one of those headbangers that you can't escape from. You just love this tune from the very first moment on.
"Hypocrisy" starts a bit more silent before it turns into a catchy hardrocker with a great chorus that shows Atkins at his best.
"Wide Awake" marks another midpace earworm before "Every Heartbeat" shows Nordic Union's romantic side.
The more simpe "21 Guns" is still better than what you get from most of the other bands in this genre, followed by "Falling", a song that convinces with a well crafted chorus.
"The Other Side" keeps things rocking while "Point of No Return" reminds me again to the earlier Pretty Maids days. "True Love Awaits You" is the second very soulful hymn on "Nordic Union". It's well done even though its stands back behind "Every Heartbeat".
The musical bouncer on the debut is called "Go", which is a pretty solid hardrock tune, build on dynamic guitars and excellent vocals.
"Nordic Union" became the best Pretty Maids album Pretty Maids never wrote. Eleven melodic rockers, done by highly experienced guys, show every youngster how metal music needs to sound like. Even though 2016 just started, this album is already right now in my personal Top 10. Let's hope that this collaboration will continue. These guys are far too good to just leave it with one album.
- The War Has Begun
- Wide Awake
- Every Heartbeat
- When Death is Calling
- 21 Guns
- The Other Side
- Point of No Return
- True Love Awaits You
Label: Frontiers Music
Genre: Melodic Metal
Release Date EU: January 29th, 2016