Intohimo – Northern Lights


Intohimo_NLPost hardcore is a very popular genre, a genre like metal-core and the symphonic brands that are getting very swollen with an array of bands trying to make their mark in the music industry. The Problem that can rear its head in this context is one that it can make it very hard for a band to stand out and deliver something so unique and different, that it can launch itself ahead of the pack.

Sweden are not short of quality bands, and I always get excited to review a band from Sweden, because I am almost 100% confident I am going to be impressed no matter what kind of music it is.

So to put it straight out there, yes this band has the formula to stand out with their electric post-hardcore sound. This is not to say that they don’t fall in and out of the stereo typical pool, I just discussed in the beginning part of the review. It’s that Stereo typing that normally makes me run to the hills with post-hard-core bands. I mean they are going to have to really up their game if they are going to keep it up on future releases, depending how serious they are about it. The clean vocals are a stand out quality by far, but the seemingly muddy production plays against their musical ability. Whether they have that x – factor is the question to be asked. It’s that x- factor, whatever it is, that will see a band catapult itself ahead of the pack. That is dearly needed in what has become a very over-weight genre.

To be honest there is not a particular song that really stands out for me, and though it certainly not a bad album in comparison to a whole lot of other tripe out there, it took me awhile to be convinced that there is potential in here. Yes, I concluded that these guys have potential, if you put away all the stereo-typing pitfalls that they slide into at times.

The vocalist with his clean vocals stands out awesomely, and helps to carry this album from falling into the weigh side. They are a band that with the right production team behind them could excel into the next level and beyond. Having a very aggressive sound, matched by its atmospheric rock presence; helps the band to extend their brand at times beyond the borders of the post-hardcore / screamo genre. It’s that, which I feel if they continue to explore, will see them break ground where other bands in that genre have not yet.

Though slightly crippled by muddy production its by no means a clumsy album, and has a character of its own, that in the light is an extension of the genre. What did impress my musical ear songs like “Northern Lights Pt. 1 with its great riffs, powerful delivery, and the clean, catchy sung choruses. Through-out the album the standout parts are the clean vocals. The bass lines are tremorous at times, which helps carry the aggressiveness of the songs over with a natural ease. Johan is an extremely talented vocalist and his vocal reach within each song is awe-inspiring, no matter if his merely crooning away, or in a full tilt shout or rip roaring, hair ripping out scream, his lungs never fail. “Another Low” and “Far Side And Further” have a certain quirkiness to them, and display great guitar playing through catchy choruses. I was hard pressed to find I stand out track due to the fact that album is very consistent (not a bad thing). At the end, “Crossroad” comes out as a clear cut winner with its soaring guitars, the atmospheric clean vocals, great lyrical composition and powerful screamo parts that work well with the guitar attack, and great drumming. “Crossroad” is the measuring stick that they need to measure their next outing by. That song in itself pushes them convincingly out of the mediocre pool, and into the big leagues.

To conclude, you get a very consistent album that at times delivers past the stereo typical pitfalls of the post hardcore genre. The clean vocal execution is a stand out by far and super exceeds anything else on the album by a good measure. There are some awesomely catchy chorus riffs on this album that hold themselves with absolute hair raising moments that are memorable and enjoyable. Some albums would be stronger as and EP, and this is album is a prime example of that, and certainly would have fetched a higher score from me in that format if songs like: “Crossroad”, “Northern Lights Pt. 1, “Tales Of A Seeker”, “Another Low” and “Far Side And Further” were part of the EP. I would not slap this with the usual stereo-typical slanders, and it’s easy to go down that route, but allow Intohimo space to step forward that we might be able to listen to the full potential of what Johan Lindblom – vocals, Joakim Bergquist – Guitar, Albin Blomqvist – Guitar, Joakim Möller – Drums, and Christoffer “Poffe” Andersson – Bassmight have to give as band into the future.

For fans of: A kiss for jersey, Underoath

Rating: 6.5/10

Review written by: Donovan de Necker

01. Intro
02. Northern Lights Pt. 1
03. Another Low
04. Far Side And Further
05. Crossroads
06. The Rotation Of The Earth vs. Me
07. Underwater Interlude
08. A Waltz For Heaven By The Mountains
09. Northern Lights Pt. 2
10. Tales Of A Seeker
11. Colours Did Not Exist in 1817
12. I Am Doubt Defined
13. Endeavour

Band members:
Johan Lindblom – Vocals
Joakim Bergquist – Guitar
Albin Blomqvist – Guitar, backup vocals
Joakim Möller – Drums, backup vocals
Christoffer “Poffe” Andersson – Bass

Record Label: Snapping Fingers Snapping Necks, Oct. 2012

In the deepest of mind (demo) [2004]
PastPresentAndNeverAgain (demo) [2005]
Failures, Failures, Failures & Hope [2007]
Us; The Hollows [2009]
Winter Sun (EP) [2012] [review]
Northern Lights [2012]

Weblinks: Facebook / Myspace / Twitter

Buy the album here:
 First Paradox 
 Nordic Mission

Video below: ‘Northern Lights: pt 1’

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