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Nordic Union - Second Coming

Nordic Union
Second Coming
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 30 November 2018, 11:24 AM

NORDIC UNION is the successful collaboration, built by Frontiers President Serafino Perugino, between singer Ronnie Atkins of the legendary Danish hard rock institution PRETTY MAIDS and the up-and-coming Swedish songwriter and producer Erik Martensson of ECLIPSE and W.E.T. fame. The partnership between the two Scandinavians came about sometime in 2015 when Atkins was sent a bunch of demos put together for him by Martensson. The enthusiastic reaction from Atkins sparked a brand new musical alliance that culminated in Nordic Union’s self-titled debut album, which was released in January 2016. Today, they present their second release, titled “Second Coming,” which contains eleven new tracks.

“My Fear & My Faith” leads off the album. It’s mid-tempo rocker with plenty of balls, and somewhat dark in scope, like coming out of a bad situation on top of the world. “Because of Us” is a bit on the lighter and more positive side. It has a big and full chorus full of vocal harmonies, with a rich sound. “It Burns” opens with soft piano keys, leading to a slow and introspective sound. The chorus resonates and as they repeat it over and over, you can feel the burn. “Walk Me Through the Fire” is another mid-tempo rocker, with easy verses and a full chorus. The bridge before the solo is solid. So far, I haven’t heard anything that’s blown me away, but the melodies are there and it’s pretty good overall. “New Life Begins” is an emotionally packed piece with well-placed vocal harmonies and a strong vocal performance to go along with the tender sound.

“The Final War” is a somber sounding song with a lot of fire and brimstone, as the title suggests. Atkins digs deep after the second chorus and the guitar solo is spot on. “Breathtaking” is a slower, more emotional sound, with what seems like a bit of a forced chorus. Sometimes these projects can lead to this kind of thing here and there. “Rock’s Still Rocking” is a down and dirty bluesy number, with vocals spotlighted in the verses and are joined by another big chorus. “Die Together” is a story of unity between two lovers. You can hear the longing in the vocals, with great harmonies. It’s also the best song on the album, and the first one that really hits home for me. “The Best Thing I Never Had” is another mid-tempo rocker with some dark elements. Some longing can be heard in the vocals. “Outrun You” closes the album. It’s yet another mid-temp song that just doesn’t leave much of a mark.

Overall, these projects that are put together by top execs are either hit or miss. I think this one is a miss. All of the ingredients are there for this to be fantastic, but when it comes to the songwriting, it just falls short and doesn’t hit the mark. There were one or two memorable songs here but the rest just kind of blended together for me. It’s a shame, because Martensson is a phenomenal musician in his main acts, and I love the sound of Atkins’ voice. This one just didn’t come together for me.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. My Fear & My Faith
2. Because of Us
3. It Burns
4. Walk me through the Fire
5. New Life Begins
6. The Final War
7. Breathtaking
8. Rock’s Still Rolling
9. Die Together
10. The Best Thing I Never Had
11. Outrun You
Ronnie Atkins – Lead & Backing Vocals
Erik Martensson – Lead & Rhythm Guitar, Bass, Keyboards and Backing Vocals
Magnus Ulfstedt – Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Music


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