Review Summary: Consisting of four well known musicians (Tony Kakko, Marco Hietala, Juha-Pekka Leppäluoto and Jarkko Ahola, Northern Kings released a cover album, in which they make absolutely amazing covers of pop hits from the '70, '80 and '90.
Northern Kings is a metal cover band, consisting of four musicians who are already well known in their existing bands: Marco Hietala (Nightwish
), Tony Kakko (Sonata Arctica
), Juha-Pekka Leppäluoto (Charon
) and Jarkko Ahola (Teräsbetoni
). Their first album was released in 2007, called Reborn
. After that, they released another album in 2008, Rethroned
The album is comprised completely of pop hits from the '70, '80 and '90, including 'Don't Stop Believin'', 'We Don't Need Another Hero', 'In The Air Tonight', 'I Just Died In Your Arms' and 'Ashes To Ashes'. Releasing good metal covers of well known songs isn't something a lot of musicians have succeeded in, making it feel like you're listening to dodgy, dreadful, half-assed version of the original. But this album isn't like that in any way. It doesn't try to sound like the original. Most of the songs are bigger, heavier, darker than the originals.
Combine this with four amazing musicians, and you actually succeeded in finding a good cover band. That is, if you like power metal better than the original songs. I don't think it would be a good idea to listen to this album if you are a fan of the original songs. Don't say I didn't warn you. If this doesn't concern you, no matter how skeptical you are when approaching a cover album, give this album a chance.
I am a great fan of Tony Kakko and Marco Hietala. This alone was enough for me to pick up this album. I mean, who doesn't want to hear Tony and Marco singing pop songs? If this isn't enough for you, let me give you some other reasons to listen to this album.
Starting with the first song of this album, 'Don't Stop Believin'' (Journey Cover), they have changed it to a catchy, beautiful Sonata-like song. I don't think Sonata Arctica fans would notice the difference, beside the voice. It sparkles with piano, shreeking guitars and fast-paced drums. Combined with Marco Hietala's unique and raucous yet clear voice, you have a masterpiece. It's epic in ways no other cover song will ever be - which makes Northern Kings' Reborn
an awesome way to spend the afternoon. This also applies to the next song of the album, 'We Don't Need Another Hero' (Tina Turner Cover). All that kept thinking while listening to that song was 'holy damn'.
. This song is dazzling in ways the original never will be. Again, if you're a fan of the original, you won't like it, though it doesn't sound like the original at all.
'Creep' (Radiohead Cover), has been transformed into a spooky, horror rollercoaster ride. It has an atmosphere that is awfully scary and surrounded by slow, careful instrumentation that wraps around an amazing voice. The cover of "Hello", uses again the fast-paced drums and the shreeking guitars, creating a real head turner of a track. It really touches a nerve when you listen to it, because is contains passionate vocals and the "Let me start by saying...I love you" part is given such poignant emotion that it can leave a sensitive listener woozy of bliss and delight.
also contains covers of Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Lionel Richie, Jethro Tull and Billy Idol, just to name a few. All of these songs have the same passion and emotion you won't find in any cover(band).
It is save to say I love this album. Some songs have truly been 'reborn', which makes this album such an amazing piece of art. It's pure awesomeness.