Review: Nordic Union– Nordic Union – Frontiers Records – Release: Out Now.
Nordic Union is the name behind the new musical 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 fellow Scandinavians worked well and together they have created some musical magic, which will truly impress the fans of these highly regarded musicians.
Nordic Union are:
Ronnie Atkins – Lead & Background Vocals
Erik Martensson – Lead Guitar, Bass, Keyboards and Background Vocals
Magnus Ulfstedt – Drums
Guest Guitar solos:
Thomas Larsson on ‘Every Heartbeat’ & ‘Wide Awake’
Fredrik Folkare on ‘Point Of No Return’ & ‘Hypocrisy’
Magnus Henriksson on ‘The War Has Begun’
When Erik is responsible for the riffage on an album, you know he ain’t gonna disappoint. So the riff from opener ‘The War Has Begun’ lets your ears bleed, but listen to the strong bass lines as well. But the biggest surprise here is the voice from Ronnie. Man, he even sounds better than on the last Pretty Maids album here! An absolute killer combo, those two guys! Magnus Henriksson (Eclipse) throws in an excellent speedy guitar solo. A cracking way to start an album…
The link with Eclipse is very clear and obvious and the catchy chorus from ‘Hypocrisy’ fits that format perfectly.
‘Wide Awake’ is a pure melodic rocker with Ronnie in a leading role! I’m really impressed with the vocals of this ‘pretty maid’! Time for a ballad with ‘Every Heartbeat’. Again it smells a lot like Eclipse, but who cares…. It’s pure melodic ear candy again! The best track of the album is without a shadow of a doubt ‘When Death Is Calling’. This fast track is an instant like and makes you belt out the chorus. Again the power of the bass is huge here! We keep up the pace with the furious ‘21 Guns’. Besides the killer riffs and hooks from Erik he also fills the sound with some keyboards. ‘Falling’ has a more commercial touch and harbors some smooth backing vocals!
The other tracks are all in the same vein, except the ballad ‘True Love Awaits You’.
This one has a more open sound, with a laid back feeling! It lets you hear the more melodic side of Ronnie as well.
I must admit that I’m a big fan of Erik’s guitar sound and even more of his ‘wall of sound’ production. This is again a fine example of the man’s songwriting capabilities. All tracks immediately get stuck in your head. But the biggest surprise to me here was the voice of Ronnie. It fits like an 80’ties spandex around Erik’s riffs. What a strong combo this is. So fans of Eclipse, W.E.T. and Erik’s guitar playing must add this one to their collection. Fans from Ronnie will be amazed by his work here as well.
Score: 4,75 out of 5
1. The War Has Begun
3. Wide Awake
4. Every Heartbeat
5. When Death Is Calling
6. 21 Guns
8. The Other Side
9. Point Of No Return
10. True Love Awaits You
Text by: Rik Bauters