Review NORDIC UNION ‘Animalistic’

The first time I heard the voice of Ronnie Atkins was back in 1984 when I listened to ‘Cold Killer’ from Pretty Maids. No doubt, the guitars impressed but Atkins with his unique voice was a wow moment. In the meantime many years went by and the devastating news of Atkins fighting cancer was a shock for the metal world. The question if there will be some new songs by the iconic singer all of a sudden became irrelevant.

It is all the more great that the exceptional Danish artist not only released a solo album but is now also on tour with Avantasia. In addition, he has recorded a new album with Nordic Union and it seems that hard rock and metal is an elixir that helps even in the most difficult and challenging situations.

The core of Nordic Union are Erik Martensson and Ronnie Atkins. With the self-titled debut album, the project achieved more than just a remarkable success and underpinned the musical class with ‘Second Coming’. Four years later, ‘Animalisitc’ hits the record stores and can certainly top the popularity of the two previous albums.

Songs like the thundering ‘Wildfire’, a melodic metal song in a class of its own, certainly contribute to this. Everything is just right here. Hooks, melody line, solo and vocals complement each other in a great way and make the track a highlight.

Now ‘Animalistic’ is an album that is not short of excellent songs. Better said, the album knows no failure and even the peaceful ‘Riot’ is anything but a standard ballad. Atkins sings the tune with a lot of heart and soul and a line like “How do I turn down the riot in my head” says it all. This song has a very personal side to it and stands out for that alone.

The new Nordic Union starts off swinging. ‘On This Day I Fight’ is a terrific opener that immediately catches the ear. The album continues with ‘In Every Waking Hour’. Ronnie Atkins gives the song the intensity it needs while Martensson has forged hooks that stick with you.

‘This Means War’ is a bit slower and has a heavy pounding beat that is very appealing. Last but not least the title track needs to be mentioned. ‘Animalistic’ is rightly the name giver for the album and has a lot of 80s flair without coming across old-fashioned.

In summary, we can say that Nordic Union has succeeded in creating another exceptional album. Melody, heaviness and the spirit of rock’n’roll, that’s what makes ‘Animalistic’ a great album. The fact that the sound and production are even more reinforcing is not surprising with Erik Martensson at the helm. This album is one of the highlights of 2022.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  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

Label: Frontiers Music

Genre: Melodic Metal

Release Date EU: August 12th, 2022

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