ALBUM REVIEW: Northwind – Imperfect Harmony

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I loved 2018’s “Remarkable Rock” from Northwind in Norway. And if you like your classic rock with progressive leanings, you’ll like it too. Covid of course delayed this one but definitely worth the wait especially if you loved the first outing.

Opener ‘Invisible Heroes’ lays down a big groove with drums, guitar and then bass before an Ozzy-like vocal adds some early Sabbath vibes to the mix, caressed by superb backing vocals. There’s a good, smooth breakdown before a fiery guitar solo kicks in. Your immediate thought when the Hammond joins this already heady mix is ​​”This is a band I need to see live!” These guys haven’t missed a beat!

“Signs” has an intentional riff that sets the stage before dissolving into a contrasting male then female vocal that gives it a wonderful almost soundtrack feel before breaking down into a jazzy bass crawl led by drums and peppered with guitar. before another sabbath- how the riff eclipses this passage and the guitar groans! As someone who isn’t normally a Prog Rock fan, this is enough to tip me over to the dark side!

“Beyond the End” maintains that balance between prog rock and ’70s hard rock and blends the vocals of Niclas and Mona to great effect, even delivering a guttural male accent that’s almost spoken at once. It’s an interesting passage, which looks like a rock opera. “Bully” which follows tells a lyrical story of redemption and freedom brought to life by those wonderful guitars and organ! And when ‘Unchain Me’ starts, you feel like you’re in the middle of a concept album as you start pulling the strings together. It’s something that makes the album more cohesive as a whole without distracting attention from individual songs. Indeed, “Unchain Me” has some wonderful passages, wonderful almost mystical “Oriental-style” ventilation, and all the light and shadow you could want. It gets more addictive with each game.

In contrast, “The Dark” is a much smoother, languorous opening with light acoustic guitar and a lullaby-like female voice. Before the crash of the guitar splits the song and the voice we heard in the opening song crashes before it too dissolves into a softer plea and vice versa. It’s a beautiful isolated piece of music and one of my highlights here. ‘March of the Keepers’ opens with a rather ecclesiastical-sounding organ before the tale begins. It’s a wonderful narrative underlined by driving guitar and another real highlight – it’s a record that ends rather strong!

The title track “Imperfect Harmony” ends the album proper with what initially appears to be a traditional ballad, a great vocal backed by a swelling organ and accented by guitars before it takes a drum-led turn to a fiery chorus reinforced by a guitar. It’s that Deep Purple meets the Uriah Heep vibe again with a series of twists that keep it breathing and compelling. It’s a great way to conclude.

The bonus track “Krakevisa” is a nice addition – a hard rocking take on a traditional Scandinavian medieval ballad. It’s great, and while I imagine you two could drink and dance and have fun, I managed to resist the temptation.

Like their debut, diversity is again key here and the result is another collection of songs that take melody as their starting point, which is then infused with elements of 70s metal and rock with a wholesome predisposition to progressive music and rock opera. With the same line-up here for the second record, Northwind once again fails to hit the wrong foot.

7.5 /10

Training: Niclas T. Winther – Vocals | Mona Stang Svendsen – Vocals | Lars Svendsen – Guitars | Kai Brekke – Bass | Hjaran Berge – Drums | Nicky Georgiev – Keyboards

http://www.northwind.no

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