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Norther - Just more Death Metal (Kristian Ranta) - Online May 2004


You probably know that when an album just won’t leave your home stereo it could only be seen as a positive sign, a sign of credibility and entertainment. NORTHER’s third album, bearing the title of “Death Unlimited”, is my most recent encounter with an album with such positive and jaw dropping impact. The album will undoubtedly be on my top ten list for this year, not only because it’s a nearly picture perfect CD, the longevity of the songs seem to prolong each time I play them, I still enjoy the album after spending so many hours with it. With this CD constant bugging me and distracting me from my daily life duties it seemed logical to get in touch with the talented lead guitarist Kristian “Kride” Ranta and get some more info on this brilliant album.

 

Hello Kride! Congratulations on the awesome ”Death Unlimited”.

 

Hello! and thank you!

 

How’s everything going in Finland, any Summer in sight?

 

Very well at the moment, so far two confirmed festivals in Finland this summer…

 

It’s been some time now since your new album got released, how are the reviews looking?

 

Definitely very good. We have got some really good reviews from Europe and so on.

 

To me “Death Unlimited” is a stronger and more original effort and your best by far. What’s your take on the album?

 

I agree with you, I think it’s also our strongest release so far. We are still very happy with “DU”.

 

The style is classical NORTHER but there’s more energy surrounding the album, I gather the band was all geared up for this one?

 

Yes, we wanted to make a bit faster and heavier material and so we did. “DU” is also a lot more versatile in comparison with “MOM” and “DOEW”.

 

You’ve got some surprises lined up on “Death Unlimited”. The first one being the keyboards moving more and more into the sound.

 

Yes, I think one of our strengths is Tuomas, therefore we wanted to use a lot of keyboards. We also had this idea of getting more modern sounds to the songs. Some techno elements etc etc.

 

Songwise you also have some new ideas to present. I’m referring to the song “Day Of Redemption”, I think it’s a step into the right direction with NORTHER’s epic qualities wouldn’t you say?

 

Yes, I agree. “Day Of Redemption” is definitely an epic song and it has many cool elements which we didn’t have before.

 

And you’ve got two instrumentals on the album; they really give the listener time to wonder what just hit them hehe.

 

Cool, we wanted to put some easier stuff in between to make the CD more diverse.

 

The biggest surprise, to me anyway, was the use of clean vocals on “A Fallen Star” and you’re responsible for them if I’m not mistaken, great job! Why this input?

 

Yes, we just felt that we also need something new in this sector. There is also some clean vocals on “Chasm” too, in the chorus part, but it is mixed a bit more in to the background as on “A Fallen Star”. I guess we’ll be having some more clean stuff in the future but not too much.

 

The performance is top notch. Especially you and Pete have some totally sick soloing going on.

 

Thank you! I think that we both have developed as players quite much during last year. Good to hear that it also shows.

 

On “A Fallen Star” and “Vain” there are these dual leads from you and Pete that really puts a fat smile on my face, who came up with those?

 

I did, I have always liked these double solos. I suggested the idea to Pete and he also liked it. Then I just came up with these parts and they fit the album perfectly.

 

You’ve chosen the title “Death Unlimited”, what sort of concept around you working with here, some kind of killing machine perhaps?

 

Actually we came up with this idea a long time ago, I think it was in a bus when we were travelling to some festival or something. Because “DU” is more Death Metal than our earlier releases we thought that this title would describe the concept quite well (Editor’s note: so much for the killing machine hehe)

 

Both “Day Of Redemption” and “Nothing” sound very personal, what’s the lyrical content in these two tracks?

 

“Day Of Redemption” tells about these bad feelings everyone gets once in a while... nothing too serious though, I’m not planning to kill myself yet... - The lyrics for “Nothing” are Pete’s handwrite so I can’t tell exactly what’s going on there.

 

Be honest with me now. What’s the deal with the artwork? Are you guys truly satisfied with the final result?

 

Well actually not truly... it was supposed to be much darker and so... Something always goes wrong. The artwork for the next album will be something totally different.

 

You did a video for “Mirror Of Madness”, are you going to make another for this record?

 

Yes, we already made one. It will be on our DVD, which will hopefully be released before the summer. The DVD will also contain a lot of other killer stuff, like live footage, behind the scenes etc. etc.

 

Ok. So you recorded the album with Anssi Kippo, did everything run smooth?

 

With Anssi everything always runs smooth, this time even smoother than before. We had a really good time at Astia Studios and I think it can be heard from the album.

 

The sound is heavier and a lot punchier, it seems you have found the right team partner for the recordings of your “DU” right?

 

We definitely wanted to have a lot heavier sound and I think we achieved this goal well. The guitars sound much more killer than on the previous albums.

 

Now for some personal talk. I’ve often paid a visit to your message board on your website and from what read it appears that you’re quite popular.

 

Well, don’t know about that... I guess we have our fan base and we are really thankful for that... but maybe not very popular... :)

 

So do you have fans screaming at you on the streets on a normal day?

 

No, sometimes people recognize us on the street and they might yell something like: aaarghhh Norther dudes!!!! But not everyday.

 

You have often been compared to CHILDREN OF BODOM? How do you feel about that?

 

Well, we are definitely a part of the same genre as they are so comparisons between us and them are a natural reaction... Sometimes people tend to compare us to them a bit too much without even listening to our albums. At least I think that “MOM” and especially “DU” don’t sound like BODOM that much...

 

You’re good friends with them right? I think it was Alexander Kuoppola (ex C.O.B.) who introduced you to the guys in C.O.B or something.

 

Yes, he helped us to get a rehearsal place. BODOM used to rehearse in the same place as we before.

 

Your pretty young of age (all of you), yet the solos you play sound like they’re played by a veteran in the business, may I ask what motivates you to push the limits?

 

I don’t know about the others but personally I just love playing the guitar. That’s what keeps me going. I have a lot of ambition when it comes to music :)

 

I heard somewhere that you’re related to Henry Ranta (ex drummer of SOILWORK)?

 

Not as far as I know... (Editor’s Note: I could’ve sworn on my sacred Metal heart that I read it somewhere, hmmm).

 

Ok. I’d like to get your opinion on the following releases: C.O.B. – “Hatecrew Death Roll”, NIGHTWISH – “Century Child” and OMNIUM GATHERUM – “Spirits And August Light”.

 

C.O.B. “Hatecrew Death Roll” – a very good album but maybe not my favourite C.O.B. album, I think I still like “FTR” more

NIGHTWISH “Century Child” – also a very good album, beautiful singing and good songs. NIGHTWISH is getting better and better in my opinion.

OMNIUM GATHERUM “Spirits And August Light” – I had the album but I sold it away... there were some good songs but, naah didn’t like it that much.

 

Ok. What about touring. Are you going to hit the road to support the album?

 

Nothing planned yet... time will tell...

 

You did a European tour with DIMMU BORGIR and HYPOCRISY I think. That must’ve been a cool experience.

 

Yes, we had a really good time and it was a really good tour also from a promotional point of view.

 

I know it’s very early to ask this but have you written any new stuff already, I remember when you released “DOEW” and you had a full album ready right afterwards.

 

Yes, me and Pete have written some new material, I guess we’re going to hit some studio during the spring 2005.

 

Ok, thanks Kride for doing this interview, any last words to the NORTHER followers?

 

Thank you!!! Stay Metal and drink beer!!! (Editor’s note: Amen to that Metal bro)

Discography:

2002: Released (CDS, Spinefarm)

2002: Dreams Of Endless War (CD, Spinefarm)

2003: Unleash Hell (CDS, Spinefarm)

2003: Mirror Of Madness (CD, Spinefarm)

2004: Death Unlimited (CD, Spinefarm)

Frodi Stenberg



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