Northland - Downfall and Rebirth 2015

As an reviewer, it is always a joy when you got sent a package full of high quality music, for you to listen and later preach it across the world. This morning I received one of that kind situation. Introducing Northland, for a starter just called them a folk metal band based in Spain. They are on historic moment in releasing their 2nd studio album called "Downfall and Rebirth". When I first 'un-zip' the package and start listening, I was simply blown away. Their music hit my favorite zone with melodic violin-driven-folk-metal. They are also fast and the harsh vocals is all there for a viking metal categorical glory. For an hour I feel like a boy getting a new toy, having previously have no knowledge before hand about Northland.

Downfall and Rebirth is quite a concept album. It is about the downfall of status quo civilization because they abused the Mother Nature to her destruction. It is about Mother Nature revenge and later a new celestial force arrives and then become the new, Rebirth, civilization. This album played with the classic concept of rise and fall, day and night, destroy and rebirth theme. The first tracks speaks it all, "When Nature Awakes" is quite a composition that put everything together about Northland. A mother earth melody to starts it all, then "The time has come..." screamed out to mark the starts the violin driven folk metal. The violin melodies will stays through out the album. We got to listen Pau Murillo's growling vocals, very fit into the nature of this song. It also has fast and slow dynamic, enough progressive elements to lift everything up. The replying song is  "Bloodred Sunrise", aggressive track that beginning to describe how devastating the current situation around Mother Earth. It's got catchy folk melody along with "... Die! By my hand!.." of Creeping Death-like tag line. If you are fans of folk metal, this track will blown your mind away for its composition. "Together We Die" is pretty standard Viking metal song, uncompromising galloping riffs. Now we arrive on "Fury's Unleashed", another apocalypse-like guitar riffs, and also extremely loud sounding bass guitar sound. "Duskriders" is opened with calm acoustic guitars, the song has kind of Helloween like choruses. "Spirit In Darkness" is the only track that 'slow' down without the present of double pedal drumming. Ultimately, the climaxing tracks is "Downfall And Rebirth", in which the album got their final-final moment , if you haven't impressed so far, this track is supposed to break your unbelievable ice. The last two songs are more like the epilogue of what has happened. Notable is "Moonlight Spell" where Lady Morte, the singer for Trobar de Morte is contributing her voices.

Northland is perhaps doing to what Rhapsody-of-Fire done to power metal, where Northland do to folk metal. They bring up the genre to a new fascinating horizon. Songs are produced in precise technical matter reflecting to their highly skill musicians. The present of violin melodic is their signature style. Guitar riffs are fit the situation demanding. Vocals of Pau Murillo never lost its power. It is understandable the keyboardist take a whole critical task to supported this kind of music, but Northland did not really allow the 'symphonic metal' vibes in their style. Pol Lemarie keep the keyboard layers stays in designated sphere and let the violin and guitars fight the dominant melodies. Of course in the ended, both bassist Vic and drummer Jose joined for the band with their awesome playing. It is a shame that Downfall and Rebirth may takes a couple of days before its official released date upon this writing, as I feel like to knock every power metal fans door and delivered this album with a note, "...this is the album you'll need to close 2014 with glory."

Metal Harem class: *********** nine stars out of ten

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Northland - Downfall and Rebirth (2015)

1. When Nature Awakes
2. Bloodred Sunrise
3. Together We Die
4. The Rite (instrumental)
5. Fury´s Unleashed
6. Duskriders
7. Spirit In Darkness
8. Whispers In The Wind
9. Downfall And Rebirth
10. Moonlight Spell
11. Newborn Star


Pau Murillo - Vocals. Guitars & Jaw Harp
Alex Fernández - Guitars
Vic Adiego - Choirs and Bass guitar
Pau Vázquez - Violin
Pol Lemaire - Keyboard
Jose Rosendo - Drums & Percussion

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