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Tales From The North
Released: 1999, Nuclear Blast
White Skull. An odd name for a band from Italy. From what I had heard about this CD I had initially steered clear of it. I am damn glad that I finally decided to check it out. This is one smokin' CD. The funny thing is that White Skull have a female singer who is the equal of most male vocalists and sounds a hell of a lot less feminine than a lot of them too. White Skull was formed in 1991.Their influences included a who's who of metal including Iron Maiden, The Scorpions, Helloween and Saxon. They released their first CD entitled "I Won’t Burn Alone" in 1995. 1997 saw the release of the bands second CD entitled "Embittered." This CD received rave reviews and saw the band opening for Overkill, U.D.O. and Doro Pesch. An E.P. entitled "Asgard" preceded the release of "Tales From The North"in 1999.
This is a concept CD based on Nordic myths. Another oddity for a band that hails from the opposite side of the continent from the legendary Norsemen. However White Skull have created a CD that you just can’t help wrapping you up in its atmosphere. This disc contains 12 songs and to be truthful there is not a bad tune on here. In fact most of them are above average. Standout tracks include "Asgard", "Tales From the North", "The Terrible Slaughter" and "The Killing Queen." "Tales From the North" is a classic power metal tune. I’ll say it before, and I’ll say it again, pounding bass drums, blasting guitars and great vocals. A classic tune. "Here We Are" is another tune worthy of notice as Chris Boltendahl of Grave Digger does some guest vocals. He fits perfectly with the White Skull sound. Vocalist Frederica "Sister" De Boni would also make a good replacement for Chris in Grave Digger come to think of it.
Overall this is a great CD. Heavy yet melodic with loads of great drumming, chunky guitars and great vocal work. I am also partial to the lyrics. Any songs about Odin and Thor are great in my book. The production on this CD is great as well. So often what could be a great CD is ruined by bad production. Everything here is sharp. If you have been reading bad things about this CD. Take my advice. Give it a listen before you dismiss it. I will end this review with a quote from White Skull. "Death To False Metal and Up The White Skull"
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