Northward

Album Type:
Release Date:
19th October 2018
Record Label:
Nuclear Blast
Total Tracks:
11
Genre:
RATING: 

Northward came about when Floor Jansen (Nightwish, Star One, ex-After Forever, ex-ReVamp) and Jorn Viggo Lofstad (Pagan’s Mind) realized their creative chemistry on stage doing cover songs at Progpower USA in 2007. The two also have a common interest in stripped down hard rock which motivated them to put some songs together in the course of 2008. Having duties with their main bands, unfortunately, their project didn’t fully enter the spotlight until now.

Listening to After Forever and Star One in the early 2000’s, I was blown away by Floor‘s voice. Needless to say, she’s still got it. But I remember listening to “Endless Forms Most Beautiful” kind of in dismay while friends were so impressed by it. I wasn’t bashing the music of course but being familiar with most of her bands, I was disappointed by Floor‘s output – but she was not to blame. The songs didn’t reflect her capabilities as a singer and her voice was sorely held back – even having Dawkins on album won’t save it for me and I can’t listen to the album thoroughly (I’m sorry to say) but I’m pleased to say that her abilities are put more on display on this album. It is truly interesting to hear a clearly recognizable voice under a different sound.

Jorn adds all sorts of interesting rock elements in Northward; Being a master on the guitar, he can strum away to the tune of pop to hard rock. He also incorporates an acoustic guitar to give the dramatic effects of the songs which clearly provide the softness and darker tones. The combination of acoustic guitars, dramatic singing against the distorted guitars give quite the dimensions that I haven’t heard from either of their bands before. It made the listening experience absolutely fascinating but I am not completely sold on all of their songs. Especially on the simplistic nature of several of the tracks used for their promos, which are actually the first 3 tracks on the album.

Although Northward is musically not entirely to my taste – and I mostly signed up for reasons of curiosity – I can enjoy several songs as they are. I am mostly referring to the second half of the album here. I would not recommend it for someone who is looking for their whiff of some symphonic metal but the album does well on what it was made to accomplish. I believe Floor and Jorn make a great duo, this album is hooky throughout, and they sound better than what is on the pop radio.

Tracklist:

01. While Love Died
02. Get What You Give
03. Storm In A Glass
04. Drifting Islands
05. Paragon
06. Let Me Out
07. Big Boy
08. Timebomb
09. Bridle Passion
10. I Need
11. Northward

Playing Time: 49:57
Line-Up:

Floor Jansen
Jørn Viggo Lofstad
Morty Black – bass
Jango Nilsen – drums
Stian Kristoffersen – drums
Irene Jansen – co-lead vocals on "Drifting Islands"
Ronny Tegner – keyboards

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