Northern Flame - White Winternight
From the guitarist of the black metal band Parakletos, comes this new melodic metal band called Northern Flame. Technically, this Finnish band has been around for about 3 years or so and this is their second demo, but they are new to me. Guitarist, Niclas Buss, also plays all keyboards and does the bass and drum programming. Then there is the vocalist, Simon Granlund. They've also added a rhythm guitarist recently named Alexander Nybond.
This album is basically an EP, running in at 6 tracks and 32 minutes. The band plays a melodic metal style reminiscent of bands like Narnia, Sonata Arctica, Stratovarius, and Thy Majestie. They rely mostly on fast and melodic guitar playing and catchy choruses to suck you in. While the guitar playing, both electric and acoustic, is nicely done with fast riffing and plenty of guitar solos, it is a bit disappointing that the bass and drums are not real...but programmed. Vocally, is another point where the band is hit and miss. Granlund's vocals are fairly solid overall, but they tend to be a bit too monotone and lifeless at times. He does a very good job on the choruses where he belts it, but it's the verses where he seems to be a bit "gun shy." Well...not that he's overly timid, but it seems like he's not confident enough to let loose and just "feel" what he's singing like he does on the choruses. I think over time he can be a much better vocalist.
Lyrically, the band is very bold for their beliefs in Christ. Topics include the coming of the Lord, forgiveness, comfort and rest in Christ, and the cleansing of the Holy Spirit. Production is above average for a demo and the CD booklet, while not containing lyrics has simple yet cool artwork.
While this band does not wow the socks off of me, they do have some talent and should be able to make more of an impact in the scene in the future as they hone their skills and gel as a band.
Review By: Matt Morrow
Total Songs: 6
Total Time: 32:23
Tracklisting: 1. Winter's Fury, 2. White Winternight, 3. Bloodstained, 4. Rest in My Arms, 5. Northern Flame, 6. Ad Maiorem dei Gloriam.
Best Songs: Tracks 1, 2, and 5.
Band Lineup: Niclas Buss - Guitars/Keyboards/Bass & Drum Programming, Simon Granlund - Vocals.
Band Website: http://northernflame.jellon.net