It took ten years to find the perfect time to release the self titled debut album but now beloved Nightwish vocalist Floor Jansen and Pagan’s Mind guitarist Jorn Viggo Lofstad are finally ready to present to the world their project Northward.
“While Love Died” opens the album giving you a taste of what is yet to come and you will instantly embrace the energetic grooves skillfully built by solid rounds of guitar riffs and Floor’s scratchy rocker style delivery yet there is a melodic soul emerging with noticeable heartfelt intensity.
“Get What You Give” is another entertaining tune that again revolves around gritty guitar riffs and a triumphantly catchy rhythmic section that will later give way to a lovely acoustic momentum but as expected Floor’s voice is the main attraction here with a cool mixture of heavy rock tonalities and smooth harmonies.
“Drifting Islands” showcases a series of inspired shimmering guitar melodies so the rhythm becomes a bit more dramatic and mellow to favor Floor’s duet with her sister Irene yet there are still plenty of dirty rock dynamics and bouncy guitar work especially concentrated in the bombastic chorus.
“Let Me Out” is all about groovy vibes as guitar riffs spontaneously gallop throughout the song to maintain a positive energy and faster vibrant rhythmic segments while the dreamy melodic breakdown evoke a more emotive mood swiftly followed by a bold guitar solo.
While there are some killer heavy guitar riffs and consequent groovy moments on “Timebomb” the majority of the song becomes softer than expected focusing on gentle accessible melodies, introspective atmospheres and melancholic vocals.
The eponymous final track “Northward” feels intensely dramatic with a power ballad influence and Floor’s enchanting vocals truly shine through the minimalist melodic tapestries while later guitars will gain the deserved spotlight with wilder soloing and refreshing fervent tonalities.
Obviously Floor’s charismatic vocals will be easy to love on this Northward debut release which stands out for the catchy rock backbone and the duo’s enthusiastic & energetic music approach.