2016 release from Frontiers Records, srl.
Ronnie Atkins – Vocals. Erik Martensson – Guitars, bass, keyboards, background vocals. Magnus Ulfstedt –Drums. Thomas Larsson, Fredrik Folkare, Magnus Henriksson – Guest guitarists.
Artist Location; Stockholm, Sweden. Harsens, Denmark.
4.5 out of 5 stars rating.
Reviewed by David.
- The War Has Begun.
Nordic Union is a supergroup put together by a man who seems to always know exactly which artists would work the best together to make the best music possible and the man behind so many supergroups of late, Frontiers Records president Serafino Perugino.
This go around we have a band consisting of Ronnie Atkins (Pretty Maids), Erik Martensson (Eclipse, W.E.T., Ammunition) and Magnus Ulfstedt (Eclipse) so talent is most certainly not an issue here as the band has more then it’s share and it only takes one listen to realize that this band is hitting on all cylinders from track one.
On vocals we have the great Ronnie Atkins. The man needs no introduction as anyone familiar with melodic rock will be more than familiar with the Pretty Maids vocalist, the classic album ‘Jump The Gun’ and the bands last few outstanding albums like ‘Pandemonium’ and ‘Motherland’.
On guitar, bass and keyboards we have another man who needs no introduction, the one and only Erik Martensson. The voice behind the band Eclipse and the man responsible for a multitude of stunning songs and albums over the past few years as he is one of the most in demand writers in the genre.
Erik does the writing for this album as well and it shows as this could easily have been the next Eclipse album and there is far more of an Eclipse sound to this then Pretty Maids, but it works and Ronnie’s vocals fit perfectly with each song on the record and give it a slightly heavier feel at times then Erik’s voice would have due to the raspier tones Ronnie’s voice brings to the album, and I certainly do not mean that as a slam against Erik’s voice by any means as he also possesses an exceptional voice as he has proved with every Eclipse release.
Rounding it out on drums is one of Martensson’s bandmates from Eclipse, the very talented Magnus Ulfstedt.
There is not much wrong with this album to be honest, though I do feel the first half is stronger than the second by a very slight margin due to the only song I didn’t care much for, a ballad that comes in at track number 10, ‘True Love Awaits You‘. This is easily the weakest track on the album in my opinion and brings down what would otherwise be a perfect record in my eyes.
Erik is a superior songwriter and has penned some truly great music. Just listen to tracks from Jimi Jamison’s ‘Never Too Late’ (Jimi’s phenomenal final album), Eclipse’s ‘Armageddonize’ or ‘Bleed & Scream‘ albums, Toby Hitchcock’s ‘Mercury Down’ album or any of the other slew of albums this man has been a part of and you will see, and hear, what this man is capable of. Big vocals, powerful melodies and even bigger choruses greet your ears with most everything he touches with few exceptions. In essence, it is true melodic rock. Between Erik and the great Alessandro Del Vecchio I think that they must be responsible for 95% of the melodic rock that is being put out these days.
Very highly recommended for fans of Pretty Maids, Eclipse, W.E.T. and basically anything else involving the multi-talented Erik Martensson, huge melodies with big hooks or melodic rock in general.
Yet another release that proves why this is the greatest genre in the world.
‘Hypocrisy’ – An extremely satisfying rocker with a very catchy chorus that reminds you why the hell we listen to this music to begin with.
‘When Death Comes Calling’ – Easily one of the best tracks off the album. Another full fledged rocker with a killer chorus and a great vocal delivery from Ronnie.
‘Point Of No Return’ – Another great rocker that screams Eclipse.
‘Go’ – The album closer is a blazing rock ‘n roller that finishes this album off perfectly.