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Eternal Flame

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Eternal Flame
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Type: Full-Length
Release Date: November 12th, 2021
Genre: Power
1. Only Human
2. Wings Of Salvation
3. Future Calls
4. The Land Of Mystic Rites
5. Midnight Bells
6. Eternal Flame
7. In The Name Of God
8. Ride The Storm
9. King Of Your Illusion
10. Judas Be My Guide
11. Nature's Revenge
12. Ivy (Outro)

Review by Lynxie on December 27, 2022.

NorthTale, a band made up of power metal veterans. So it wasn’t a surprise that their debut was fun. But then again, it was just... fun. Nothing outstanding and nothing stepped out of the line of the most generic style of European power metal. For me, this LP is definitely far more impressive. Or maybe it’s just my preference for the more German side of EUPM: riff-heavy and speedy - they’d sort of dug deeper into the style of 'Bring Down The Mountain' and 'Follow Me' on their debut. And I think the overall songwriting is more defined.

Indeed everything sounds more German. There are heavy-chugging riffs and techy, flashy solos like those in 'In The Name Of God' and 'Midnight Bells'. Also the bassy hook in the former song made it an immediate favorite. The double bass-drums pounded on with energy and Jimmy delivered flourish keyboard works. The high and soaring anthem 'Ride The Storm' is surely a track worthy of Helloween on their "Dark Ride" album, and 'Future Calls' just vibes off Gamma Ray when the Godfather himself showed up. Kudos to the brilliant rendering of Iron Maiden’s 'Judas Be My Guide' with Jonas Heidgert. And finally, finally a 10 min+ epic. 'Nature’s Revenge' started with brief moments of orchestrations and then everything kicked off at high speed. Bill Hudson’s flowing solo would have put nowadays DragonForce to shame. Even when the melody turned darker and proceeded at a slower tempo this is no filler. I can definitely appreciate the orchestra when it adds to the atmosphere but not covering the guitars. Bonus point, no boring ballads like 'Even When', though I did fail to see the use of a 5 min symphonic outro.

Also for those who hated 'Everyone’s A Star' on their first album, you can breathe a sigh of relief. The lyric writer chose to dismiss the more trendy topics and decided to focus on nature and mankind. Hence the singing about egos and Mother Gaia and - of course - nature’s revenge.

Also some thoughts on the line-up change. Usually when a band changes their vocalist they are asking for trouble, all the more so when the former mike-wielder was a popular choice. But in NorthTale’s case I’m not going to complain, maybe I’m even going to celebrate - Christian Eriksson’s replacement, Guilherme Hirose (also in TraumeR) removed all my doubts when the band re-recorded 'Follow Me' with him. His damn powerful and soaring vocals just fits far better into the band. I personally find Hirose a Brazilian Timo Koltipelto with a touch of André Matos. The resemblance is especially pronounced in 'The Land Of Mystic Rites' - a track that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Angra’s 'Holy Land' with its traditional Brazilian music influences. And yes, I’m bored with all the Michael Kiske clones in the genre.

So to say, I will be keeping an eye on this band. And if you like power metal at its prime back in the 80s and 90s, then you should definitely give NorthTale a chance- these guys sure took me back to those times.

Highlights: 'Wings of Salvation', 'Future Calls', 'Midnight Bells', 'In The Name Of God', 'King Of Your Illusion', 'Nature's Revenge'

Rating: 9.4 out of 10