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Articles Home » 1987 Articles » Norden Light - 1987 Shadows From The Wilderness
Norden Light - 1987 Shadows From The Wilderness

ARTIST: Norden Light
ALBUM: Shadows from The Wilderness
LABEL: Sonet
YEAR: 1987
CD REISSUE: 1995, Sonet, SLPCD 2786/527 527.2


LINEUP: Christer Mentzer - vocals * Johan Herlogsson - guitars * Peter Bodefjord - bass * Peter Jeansson - keyboards * Michael Van Knorring - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 It Hurts * 02 Shadows * 03 Night Life * 04 Aspen * 05 Dancer * 06 Save Me * 07 Crossfire * 08 No Escape * 09 Legends * 10 Daytime Loser

I'll actually admit to owning this album on CD at one point. Wasn't quite sure what to make of it at the time, and eventually offloaded it. I'm now regretting making that decision, as I've gone back to listen to this retrospectively, and it isn't as bad as I thought it was. My how times change. Certainly Norden Light might have been a mere blip on the 80's melodic hard rock landscape, but I think they are worthy of mention here, considering all of their Swedish contemporaries who already reside on this website. Put it this way, if a poor band like Stallion can make it here, then Nordern Light (who are much better) deserve a place here too. Formed in 1985 by singer Christian Mentzer and drummer Michael Van Knorring, Nordern Light were very atypical of the Swedish hard rock style of the time. Chuck in references like early Europe, Treat, Dalton and 220 Volt, you easily get the picture as to their sound. Singer Mentzer was also singing in the Roadrunner Records act Silver Mountain at the same time. Signed to Sonet Records, the band looked the part (i.e. poodle fluffy), but sounded much heavier, with a reliance on organ and heavier weightier guitar lines. Mentzer, judging by his vocals, could quite easily have auditioned for Dalton and got the job!

The Songs
If there is one major issue with the album is the dense production, and the recording of the vocals, which sounds as if it was done in an echo chamber! The opening brace of songs 'It Hurts' and 'Shadows' are delivered with a brooding attitude. Quite likeable in places, with nice keyboard and guitar interplay. Nordern Light return to a more earthy rocker with 'Night Life' whereas 'Aspen' opens all the floodgates, with a big booming sound, but those vocals.. someone must have put multiple reverb units in the recording studio! I quite liked 'Crossfire'. The slow burn of this track builds to a great chorus. The band show a clean pair of heels on the fast tempo fury of 'No Escape'. The faster style actually suits this band. All in all, I could quite easily listen to this on a regular basis.. silly me for offloading my CD eh?

In Summary
The album was a much sought after affair on vinyl back in the 80's, and it eventually saw a release during the early 90's, which is where I bought my copy from the erstwhile Mike Shannon (of CG Discs.. where is he now??). It appears that there are two covers for the album, both shown here. According to Mentzer's Myspace page, Nordern Light then got a deal with UK label GWR, but were dropped soon after by the label's management who subsequently dropped all foreign bands. The band subsequently fell off the map. Michael Van Knorring was the only member to move onto anything significant, joining Yngwie Malmsteen's band during the 1990 'Eclipse' album/tour. Nordern Light are worth a listen, particularly if you are a Dalton fan.

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#1 | jeffduran on February 01 2009 03:24:12
agree i think this is a decent affair especially "Night life".
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