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NORTHERN KINGS Reborn Warner (2007)

Northern Kings

Take four Finnish metal vocalists (Sonata Artica, Nightwish-related etc etc) and give them new arrangements of some time-honoured eighties 'classics'. Then bill it as the metal answer to Il Divo. Whatever, it is all very listenable.

The album first surfaced in their homeland last October and has gone gold. There are symphonic rock versions of tracks ranging from 'Brothers In Arms'. 'Rebel Yell', 'In The Air Tonight' and Lionel Richie's 'Hello'.

In careless hands this could all sound like the worst aspects of Euronovelty, but because the arrangements are so good it beings a new twist to the songs which are then heard in a new light. It might not make you rush out and buy Richie's albums but you'll certainly appreciate more his songsmithery.

Highlights? Tina Turner's 'We Don't Need Another Hero' and Peter Gabriel's 'Sledgehammer' work well. Bowie's 'Ashes To Ashes' is slightly over the top and this metal version of The Three Tenors not quite so convincing although no doubt good live.

Bombastic? Pretentious? 'Reborn' is all of that but a good listen nevertheless.


Review by David Randall

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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