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Nordic Union - Animalistic Award winner

Nordic Union
by Fred “Cage” Bonanno at 31 October 2022, 11:46 PM

NORDIC UNION is the musical collaboration of two legendary Danish hard rock institutions, Ronnie Atkins of PRETTY MAIDS and Erik Martensson, guitarist, songwriter, and producer of ECLIPSE and W.E.T. They have released the bands third full length studio album “Animalistic” on August 5, 2022. The partnership between the two musicians started in 2015, when Frontiers President and Head of A&R, Serafino Perugino had the idea to bring the two together to create some uncompromising Scandinavian melodic hard rock. Ronnie Atkins on the two musical giants joining forces, "The music on the album has a focus on good melodies and there's some good guitar work as well. I had a good gut feeling ever since I heard the first songs from Erik Martensson, and I was right he's a very gifted and talented songwriter!". Atkins was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2019 and underwent at least 33 radiation and four chemotherapy treatments before being declared cancer-free. The lung cancer returned in 2021 in stage 4.

The album opens with smoking vengeance on “On this Day I Fight”, heavy duty riffs pulsate that lead into burning vocals by Atkins backed by loaded drum beats handing off to a fiery guitar solo. The lyrics are soulful and heartfelt, digging down deep into Atkins personal health battle. “If this is the end, then I think that’s it’s time to begin, I will break, I will bend, no compromise” The third track “If I Could Fly” opens with an angelic, symphonic chorus from the heavens surges into a meaty guitar riff and epic solo, complimented by raspy, stained vocals. The albums only ballad “Riot” with anguished vocals delivering the symbolic lyric “How do I turn down the riot in my head” powered by guest guitarist Thomas Larsson (BALTIMOORE, GLENN HUGHES) to give a truly emotional overtone. A ripping good time on “Scream” with rapid furious riffs and full throttle tempo, a definite radio friendly song. Opening with blazing riffs and total destruction of your ear drum vocals on the title track “Animalistic”, with a burning solo by Martensson propelling this undeniable metal song.

NORDIC UNION fires on all cylinders, this is a fantastic collaboration of two incredible musicians. The album is full of great hooks and melodies, colossal, explosive solos, all pulled together by magical vocal mastering of Atkins. A true gem. The lyrics are truly inspired by his race against time meeting his maker, and the battle of his life. I can only personally pray for Atkins to beat the odds and continue to do what he loves to do….ROCK.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. On This Day I Fight
2. In Every Waking Hour
3. If I Could Fly
4. Riot
5. This Means War
6. Scream
7. Animalistic
8. Wildfire
9. Shot In The Dark
10. Last Man Alive
11. King For A Day.
Ronnie Atkins – vocals
Erik Martensson – guitar/bass/piano/orchestrion

Guest Musicians:
Fredrik Folkare – lead guitar
Henrik Eriksson – drums
Thomas Larsson – lead guitar on “Scream, Riot & Last Man Alive”

Produced by:
Erik Martensson
Record Label: Frontiers Music SRL


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Edited 02 February 2023

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