(9/10) Northward is an exciting project that needed quite some time to grow. It was in 2008 when Dutch singer Floor Jansen and Pagan’s Mind guitarist Jorn Viggo Lofstad started to work together on new songs they planned to record and release under the banner of Northward. Due to busy agendas and other commitments, things got delayed and were put on hold for a while.
It was a decade later when both picked-up the loose ends from earlier and restarted the adventure of Northward. Today the self-titled album is ready to go, featuring eleven great tracks that bridge hard rock and metal in a more than good fashion.
First songs that have been revealed during the last weeks and months gave already a good impression of what to expect. Northward is about high-quality songs, built on a rock’n’roll spirit. One of them is the smashing opener ‘While Love Died’. The start into a rock album can’t be done much better than what this energetic track offers. Floor Jansen, the trained soprano, reveals her passion for rock music. Her vocals and the wide range of her voice are crucial ingredients for Northward’s sound. Instead of the great vocals for bands like Nightwish, the Dutch singer becomes a real rock queen on this album and it fits her extremely well.
Another tune, built on a solid rock foundation, is ‘Let Me Out’. Heavy guitars fuse with melodies and catchy chorus. The anthemic ‘Storm in a Glass’ is another highlight in ‘Northward’, putting melody and hooks into focus and the catchy chorus makes it easy for listeners to get into this track the first time listening to it.
Since ‘Northward’ doesn’t come with a real filler, its each of the songs I could mention in this review. The very rhythm-focussed ‘Big Boy’ is definitely worth to listen to and it is the acoustic ballad ‘Bridle Passion’ representing the soulful moments of Northward with Floor Jansen’s voice being the icing on this rocking cake.
The uptempo ‘I Need’ picks up this rock spirit again. It’s another highlight on the album, followed by the powerful title track that starts calm and with an ease. It builds up along the way and is an excellent closer of an album that belongs to the best rock releases in 2018. This debut shows again how much musical magic a great singer and an excellent guitarist can create. ‘Northward’ is an album you shouldn’t miss.
- While Love Died
- Get What You Give
- Strom in a Glass
- Drifting Islands
- Let Me Out
- Big Boy
- Bridle Passion
- I Need
Label: Nuclear Blast
Release Date EU: October 19th, 2018