Nightside - Official Website

Death From The North

Finland Country of Origin: Finland

1. Death From The North
2. The Crumbling Tower
3. Disciples Of Darkness
4. There Won't Be Another Dawn
5. The Dying Sun
6. Gates Of Hell
7. Lions
8. In Solitude I Wander

Review by Felix on April 14, 2024.

Since their comeback, Nightside are like the ancient Roman colosseum. First came the Lions, now comes death. I am almost surprised that the mega-generic title Death From The North has not been chosen many times before, but now it is the name of the Fin’s second full-length. The stylistic artwork adds the appropriate visual impression and it comes as no surprise that the dudes still celebrate pure black metal. Their fixed point is obviously the legendary Mayhem output. Already the opening title track nearly copies the pattern of 'Funeral Fog' with its long instrumental introduction and similar melody lines. But it is no sin to find orientation in songs true kings have produced and even if it were a sin – sins are black metal compatible actions, right?

Of course, the Finnish dudes fail to reach the quality of the unbeatable milestone (no one will ever do, I bet). For example, the production does not score with a really tight appearance. The fast parts suffer from a rattling snare and transparency is not written in big letters over the mix. Maybe the somewhat blurred sound is intended to create a more spooky atmosphere? Anyway, the production is okay, but it leaves room for improvement. Another circumstance is a bit annoying: all three songs of the Lions demo reappear on Death From The North, only five really new tracks remain. Bad luck for those who bought the demo CD. Of course, it is not forbidden to recycle your own material, but if you do so, you should keep an eye on an appropriate quantum of new songs as well - and five songs with a length of roughly 29 minutes is no overdose of fresh black metal, so say it politely.

Apart from these side aspects, Nightside attacks with the spirit of the nineties. Some haunting keyboards, probably created in the “In The Nightside (!) Eclipse” tutorial, occur from time to time, but the main element is the guitar. This approach is not too far away from their solitary debut from 2001. The band still loves the cold guitar lines that represent the (most famous?) Scandinavian form of black metal. The more or less monotonous yet solid vocals also enjoy the meanwhile traditional type of Northern blackness. Indeed, the return of the reborn horde cannot be called essential in view of the countless Finnish legions with a comparable sound. But everybody who wants to play black metal is invited to broaden or even enrich the scene and Nightside’s songs, no doubt at all, have substance, vigor and authentic vibes. Moreover, they create a coherent overall picture. No useless intermezzos or crude experiments disturb the album’s flow.

Fans of formations such as Black Beast will love Nightside’s jewels such as 'Disciples Of Darkness', 'There Won’t Be Another Dawn' or 'Lions'. But all songs convey an almost opaque density and the natural power of black metal. So all in all, the band’s approach is not very variable (all pieces are on a pretty similar level of aggression and brutality) and individuality is a thing of minor relevance, but a good album is a good album (surprising fact, I know) and Nightside have penned such a full-length. The closer with lines like “I walk alone under the cold winter sky” is a final proof that the initial fascination with its tried and tested aesthetics of the genre is still unbroken.

Rating: 7.7 out of 10