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Review: White Skull - Tales From The North
White Skull
Tales From The North

Label: Underground Symphony
Year released: 1999
Duration: 58:11
Tracks: 12
Genre: Power Metal


Review online: April 2, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
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Rated 4.65/5 (92.94%) (17 Votes)

This was the debut album for White Skull, and it made some waves back in '99 when it was released. I don't know if it would were it just being put out now, and I'll try to explain what I mean. I like White Skull, but they have never been and may never be a first-rate band.

Fans of White Skull will not be disappointed with this album, as this is the same high-speed Grave Diggery crunch they have always been about. When they first came on the scene White Skull got attention for being heavier and less keyboard-obsessed than other Italometal bands. Heck, they didn't even have a keyboard player in the band – unheard of for an Italian band in 1999. I will have to say that this album is better than their recent opus "The Dark Age" (which was drenched in keyboard gayness.) But not as good as "Public Glory, Secret Agony". This album has a decent production job, but not the glossy, razor-sharp punch of later albums, and the songwriting is consistent, but not quite up to their best.

The package is a digipack, but a very nice one with excellent art design and some decent cover art (which once again manages to include some naked girls.) Lyrics are OK, but pretty standard for this band. Sad to say their lyrics haven't really improved since this CD. Grave Digger's Chris Boltendahl provides some guest vocals, and true to form he sounds more like Lovable Furry Old Grover than anyone you would be scared of.

This is a good CD that fans of the band will want to own, but is not the best White Skull have to offer. This is a bit different than the standard Italian Metal fare, but not by a whole lot, and even after five years it's showing its age. This is well-played and decently produced, but the songwriting is not quite up to the drill. If you want to get into White Skull, start with "Public Glory, Secret Agony". This one here is for fans of the style only.

More about White Skull...
Review: Metal Never Rusts (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Public Glory, Secret Agony (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The Dark Age (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The Ring Of The Ancients (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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