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Northward: Northward
Northward 2018 Self-titled Debut Album Music Review

Northward: Northward

Modern Heavy Metal Rock
4.0/5.0

The roots of Northward go back more than a decade, when Nightwish vocalist Floor Jansen and Pagan's Mind guitarist Jorn Viggo Lofstad joined to do cover songs at a ProgPower event in 2007. The pair subsequently bonded to write new songs, a whole album full, but conflicting mutual band obligations prevented them from moving forward to a full release. Now the duo have reunited to revisit those tunes and drop their brand new debut album Northward, produced by the ubiquitous Jacob Hansen.

Northward Band Photo Click For Larger Image

Northward

Perhaps, musically speaking, the first thing to say about Northward and their tunes is not to expect either Nightwish or Pagan's Mind tunes. Nope. The best summary is probably modern heavy metal rock, bristling with strong clean vocals, memorable melodies, catchy refrains, ambitious brisk riffs, and a heavy rhythm section that delivers the rock beat and groove. For her part, Ms. Jansen drops out of her Nightwish operatic voice to offer a straight up heavy rock style. She's still ambitious and assertive, but her voice is also nourished and embellished with every song's inherent emphasis on melody and harmony. Conversely, Lofstad remains tried and true to his guitar skills, continuing to impress with his harmonious riffs and epic solos.

Turning to some tunes, you've got some straight up heavy metal rock with While Love Died, I Need, Let Me Out, and Storm In The Glass, which has a true AOR feel. Yet, Big Boy is the one song that most impressively wraps up heavy rock with beat and groove in a catchy AOR rocker. Alternatively, with songs such as Paragon and Northward, the duo will trick you up with their mixture of light and heavy twists to the arrangements. Another song that mixes light and dark is Drifting Island, which pairs Flor Jansen with her sister Irene. Finally, there's Bridle Passion, a calm acoustic song to remind you of how exceptional and versatile Flor Jansen is as a vocalist. All said, Northward's debut album was worth the wait. Nightwish vocalist Floor Jansen and Pagan's Mind guitarist Jorn Viggo Lofstad deliver a fine album modern melodic heavy metal rock. Recommended.


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The Bottom Line

Northward's debut album was worth the wait. Nightwish vocalist Floor Jansen and Pagan's Mind guitarist Jorn Viggo Lofstad deliver a fine album modern melodic heavy metal rock. Recommended.

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