Review of the Album Death Unlimited by Finnish Melodic Death Metal Band Norther
How Does Death Unlimited Differ from Norther's First Two Albums?
Finnish melodic death metal band Norther entered the year 2004 probably being very confident. And there was no reason for them not to be confident musically because they had released two stellar albums to start their career. In 2004, they released their 3rd studio album called Death Unlimited. Of the first three, this is their weakest album but it is not without consideration. How is this album different from the first two if at all? One noticeable quality is that in this album, there is more emphasis on backing choir style shouts and clean vocals by Kristian Ranta on the song called A Fallen Star. Norther also had by this point not deviated too much from their melodic death metal roots. I think we could say that Norther was a melodic death metal and power metal band because I hear a sort of power metal influence in the song Deep Inside.
The Album Cover for Death Unlimited
What Was Norther's Main Weakness or Flaw as a Band?
The decision to review this album was an obvious one given my love of Finnish heavy metal and also the fact that writing album reviews gives a person a chance to really analyze and describe an artist’s work and their evolution. Norther was a band that pretty much stayed within the melodic death metal genre and they didn’t really evolve that much musically beyond that. They had talent but they didn’t go away from the usual main riff and keyboard driven songs with harsh vocals.
Songs Like A Fallen Star and The Cure Show the Album's Melodic Strength
They were not like Nightwish relying on orchestration but they relied mostly on melody and heaviness which can get old after a while.
However in the middle of the song A Fallen Star, they have an Iron Maiden style harmony which is a good way to depart from their usual strategy. However the catchy song called The Cure has a slightly more positive message in it. There are times when we know that we have found “the cure” to our worries and troubles. Some people try to sit back and lead a more analyzed life. They try to go into their mind and figure out what went wrong and what the reason was that they got off track. The end of the song features a very melodic and slower riff that is one of the most memorable in their career.
The Harsh Vocals In the Song Death Unlimited May Be Overdone
In the song called Death Unlimited, Petri Lindroos does way too much with his voice and it just feels like he is straining himself and he could have ruined his vocal chords with vocals like the one that we hear in the title track.
What is the Strongest Song in the Album?
The strongest song in the album comes early on and that is the one called Deep Inside. This one is a classic because of that crunchy riff in the middle combined with the keyboard part. Lyrically, it is similar to the song Betrayed on the album Mirror of Madness. The song is basically about someone that feels they are being tormented by life and they cannot shake themselves free of this torment. As usual, the band suffered from lyrical themes that were consistently about the most negative subjects in life. The keyboard section in this song also makes Deep Inside memorable as it is one of Norther’s best songs ever.
Norther is an Example of How Great Heavy Metal is in Finland
Whatever it is about Finnish metal bands having such lyrics, musically the country is one of the top 5 best on Earth when it comes to heavy metal. You could easily categorize Finland, Sweden, and Germany in a list of top three European nations with the finest heavy metal bands ever and you wouldn’t be inaccurate at all. Norther may not be active as a band but they contributed ot the greatness of melodic death metal in Finland and worldwide.
"A Fallen Star"
How is Petri Lindroos as a Vocalist?
At this point in his career, Petri Lindroos’s voice isn’t as understandable as it would be once he joined Ensiferum in 2006. You could make the case that with him and Markus Toivonen, they made Ensiferum’s career take off in a more positive and stronger direction musically. The song called Vain is about someone that lies so often that he is very difficult to trust. These kinds of people are considered to be pathological liars.
Strongest Norther Studio Album
What is the strongest Norther studio album among their first three?
Final Thoughts About the Album
The Japanese version of this album has a pretty good cover of the song Tornado of Souls by Megadeth. Imagine a melodic death metal version of the song and that’s what you will hear in this cover. The solo is done with all keyboards. All of the first three Norther studio albums are very solid so it is very hard to choose a favorite among them. The strongest songs in the album Death Unlimited are Deep Inside, A Fallen Star, The Cure, and Beneath.
© 2017 Ara Vahanian