Published on December 10th, 2018 | by Justin G.
Nordic Union: Second Coming (Frontiers)
Second Coming is (you guessed it) the second album from Nordic Union, the Frontiers project featuring singer Ronnie Atkins (Pretty Maids, Avantasia) and guitarist/songwriter/producer Erik Martensson (Eclipse, W.E.T). The Frontiers label throws a lot of projects like this together to see what might stick, and the 2016 Nordic Union debut was a resounding success. Needless to say, expectations are high for Second Coming.
On paper, Second Coming should be one of the best, if not the best, melodic rock albums of 2018. It’s written and delivered by one of the genre’s absolute best and features one of the most distinctive voices of the past four decades. It doesn’t quite seal the deal though. The Nordic Union debut was an instant favorite, but Second Coming, despite some highlights, doesn’t stand out as much. The first single from the album – “Because of Us” – is an absolute masterpiece, creepy music video and all, and if the rest of the album had that kind of impact I’d be rearranging my “best of 2018” list. It’s more hit and miss though. “It Burns” is very memorable, if for no other reason than it literally says Donald Trump is so fucking stupid it burns. “Walk Me Through the Fire” has some fantastic melodies, and is probably the most Eclipse-sounding song on the album, and “The Final War” has a great Pretty Maids vibe. The rest is good (it’s not like a bunch of Martensson-penned songs could be bad after all), but don’t quite have the same impact.
It feels wrong to say that an album this well put-together and with such a powerful vocal performance and with more than a few really killer songs is a disappointment, but Second Coming didn’t quite live up to expectations. It’s still absolutely worth picking up if you liked the debut and/or are a fan of Pretty Maids and Eclipse, and it’s still one of the better melodic rock albums this year has to offer. It should have been the best of the best though, and it isn’t quite there.
Summary: Really good, but I expected sheer greatness