he Danish/Swedish Super-group NORDIC UNION — which features PRETTY MAIDS vocalist Ronnie Atkins and guitarist/songwriter/producer Erik Martensson (ECLIPSE, W.E.T., AMMUNITION) — have their second album, entitled “Second Coming”, released on November 9 via Frontiers Music Srl.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.Musically, the duo presented a hybrid of the more melodic aspects of PRETTY MAIDS‘ sound mixed with elements of ECLIPSE, TALISMANand W.E.T., while still possessing their own identity. Following requests from fans for a follow up to the debut, the two musicians decided to give NORDIC UNION another shot, so after a few months production, “Second Coming” will be released to the masses very soon.
First track ‘My Fear & My Faith’ kicks off proceddings in great style and screams quality, with songwriting of the highest standard. ‘Because of Us ‘ with its haunting intro, before firing into a great upbeat melodic rocker of a track, with soaring vocals and harmonies. The musicianship is faultless, which it showcased on the excellent ‘It Burns’ with its great piano intro, and the production top notch, crisp and clear. ‘Walk Me Through The Fire’ is very AMMUNITION esque and could have featured on the immense Shanghaied release from 2014. The catchy sing-a-long ‘New Life Begins’ is a personal favourite, with its big hook’s and great vocals. The crunchy ‘The Final War’ which is probably the most metal tune on the album, but still has a melodic feel to it.
Ronnie Atkins continues to improve with time as he deftly demonstrates throughout this album, and he knows how to use his voice effectively, especially on Pretty Maids influenced ‘Breathtaking’. The southern influenced ‘Rock’s Still Rolling’ with its great slide guitar, is another highlight, together with the melodic gem ‘Die Together’, before we are treated to ‘The Best Thing I Never Had’ with its great vocals and catchy lyrics. Final Tracks ‘Outrun You’ and the majestic japanese release only track ‘Because Of Us’ Track bring this offering to a close.
To sum up this new NORDIC UNION release offers heavy riffs, soaring vocals, great hooks, and a top notch ballad to boot, and all in all a very good effort thats worth checking out.
01 My Fear and My Faith
02 Because of Us
03 It Burns
04 Walk Me Through the Fire
05 New Life Begins
06 The Final War
08 Rock’s Still Rolling
09 Die Together
10 The Best Thing I Never Had
11 Outrun You
Produced by: Erik Martensson
Ronnie Atkins – Lead & Backing Vocals
Erik Martensson – Lead & Rhythm Guitar, Bass, Keyboards and Backing Vocals
Magnus Ulfstedt – Drums