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NORTHTALE Eternal Flame

By Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Corespondent
Friday, October 29, 2021 @ 8:25 AM


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NORTHTALE
Eternal Flame

Nuclear Blast Records




Since their arrival upon the global power metal scene some two years ago with their fiery debut album Welcome To Paradise, Swedish/US/Brazilian quintet NORTHTALE have kept busy first with their live debut at the Sabaton Air Festival in Sweden, followed by some live shows in Japan, a line-up change with new vocalist Guilherme Hirose from Sao Paolo, Brazil metallers TRAUMER, taking over from the outgoing Christian Eriksson after months of auditions, and then, obviously, COVID-19 briefly stopping production on everything. Luckily, with a large glut of unused tracks from their first album still waiting to be revisited, the band, comprised of Bill Hudson (guitars), Mikael Planefeldt (bass), Jimmy Pitts (keyboards) and Patrick Johansson (drums), have definitely used their nearly 2-year period of pandemic downtime to do just that with Paradise’s leftovers in time for the release of their sophomore effort titled Eternal Flame. As the title suggests – and not just because Walk Like An Egyptian doesn’t really work for an album title when your band line-up doesn’t feature anyone from Egypt or from THE BANGLES – this is an album that features a rebirth of sorts for the band from beyond their new frontman to trying out some new musical concepts: Thrash metal, classical citations and Brazilian traditional samba and choro music.

While their musical leanings on Eternal Flame may shift all over the map, NORTHTALE’s lyrical content is the furthest from anything esoteric, as specifically evidenced on numbers such as “King Of Your Illusion”, “Ride The Storm” and the opening track “Only Human” – all brimming with humility, yearning for overall evolution and self-improvement while making sense of the frailty of the once-rock solid reliable power structures we’d depended on suddenly fragmenting before our eyes. Guilherme practically lives the lyrics of each song that he’s singing throughout the album (with the exception of closing number “Ivy” as it’s an instrumental) while his new bandmates execute some fiery solos, storming keyboard flourishes and concrete-sounding rhythmic grooves.

And overall, this album represents a band that has matured healthily since their debut, ranging from experimentation with world beat, such as with the wavy samba/choro vibe of “The Land Of Mystic Rites” and the mystical vibe in parts of “Midnight Bells” as well as extended 7-10 minute long interludes such as “Wings Of Salvation” and “Nature’s Revenge”, while the classic orchestral tones of the aforementioned instrumental “Ivy” would fit perfectly on either the opening or closing credits of any Disney+ movie or series from the past half decade. The band has even attracted some well-known legendary names in the power metal nucleus on this album, particularly Kai Hansen (HELLOWEEN, GAMMA RAY) and his son Tim Kanoa Hansen (INDUCTION) on the blistering track “Future Calls” and Jonas Heidgert (DRAGONLAND) lending his talents towards a mighty cover of IRON MAIDEN’s “Judas Be My Guide” while Mary Zimmer (HELION PRIME) offers her vocal prowess to the epic-sounding “Nature’s Revenge”.

Produced by Dennis Ward (PINK CREAM 69, UNISONIC), Eternal Flame sounds increasingly like the rebirth of the power metal genre with every repeated listen for both fans and newcomers alike.

5.0 Out Of 5.0

https://www.facebook.com/NorthtaleOfficial
https://northtale.net/
https://twitter.com/NorthTaleOnline
https://www.instagram.com/northtaleofficial/


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