NERGARD – Eternal White

NERGARD - Eternal White - Album Cover
  • 8.9/10
    NERGARD - Eternal White - 8.9/10


Pride and Joy Music
Release date: May 21, 2021

User Review
8/10 (1 vote)

Norway-based songwriter Andreas Nergård is back with Eternal White, the 4th full-length release under the name Nergard, his Symphonic Metal star-studded project. 10 years after the release of the original Nergard EP, the album represents a shift away from the previous efforts’ supergroup/Metal opera approach to vocalists in the vein of Ayreon or Avantasia and opts instead for a diverse but fixed group of singers that are now full members of the band.

A World-class Symphonic Metal Opera

Eternal White is a concept album, retelling the story of the Carolean Death March in 1719, when 3.000 Swedish and Finnish soldiers froze to death during the retreat from a failed attempt to invade Norway. The sound on display, as is the case for the rest of the Nergard catalog, is not your typical female-fronted Symphonic Metal as presented mainly by Dutch bands like Within Temptation or Epica. It draws inspiration from the many greats in the Melodic Rock and Power Metal scenes in the Nordics instead, with a sound that mostly resembles Anette Olzon era Nightwish.

The singing trio, comprised of Stefani Keogh (UK), Andi Kravljaca (Sweden), and Mathias Molund Indergård (Norway), handles passages from angelic female vocals to melodic singing in the long-standing tradition of Nordic Power Metal, female growling in the vein of the later Arch Enemy catalog and a more aggressive melodic vocal style every now and then in the vein of Marco Hietala’s (Nightwish) signature howling. The ensemble is further enriched by guest Tim “Ripper” Owens (Iced Earth / Judas Priest) ripping it in “Now Barely Three”, one of the crown jewels in Eternal White.


Performances, production

Orchestrations are meticulously well arranged, with masterful usage of woods, brass, horns, and strings equally and to full potential, something that is not to be taken for granted when it comes to Metal songwriters dabbling in the Symphonic. Drawing heavy inspiration from Tuomas Holopainen’s “pirate ship warfare” Pirates of the Caribbean-inspired arrangements that saw their origins in Nightwish’s Once album in 2004, most compositions in Eternal White enjoy tasty orchestral passages that complement rather than fight back the music.

Production is remarkably good on the instrumental side, though the vocals do get buried in the mix every now and then, especially Keogh’s. Andreas’ drumming reigns supreme, providing a solid foundation upon which the songs are built, and with one of the best drum tones in any modern Metal record. Guitars are spot on, and even though there are not a lot of remarkable riffing passages, the guitar lines lend themselves very well to the music and support it in every way. Basslines are always executed in service of the music and rarely stand out, yet the tone is really great and establishes a great low-end foundation for the arrangements.

NERGARD – Eternal White – Album Breakdown

Opening track “God Forgive My Haunted Mind” is a very good showcase of the good things to come, starting out slow and symphonic, and building up to reveal the 3-fold vocal attack of Keogh, Kravljaca, and Indergård, a very melodic chorus that would be at home in any Nordic Power Metal record, and alternating quiet and loud passages that reveal a dynamic range that is present throughout the album.

“Pride of the North” follows a more traditional Power Metal formula and executes on it well, albeit lacking a bit of energy for the genre. Keogh’s first foray into growl vocals is as delightful as it is surprising.

“From the Cradle to the Grave” is standard Symphonic Metal, but stands out due to again using Keogh’s powerful growls and a masterful guitar solo, probably the best in Eternal White as well as a really catchy chorus.

The power ballad “Carry Me” showcases Stefani’s melodic singing skills, she carries the song mostly on her own with little added support from the other 2 vocalists. This track is a little atypical for Nergard, sounding closer to modern female-fronted Metal bands like Amaranthe, Beyond The Black, or Evanescence.

A more Traditional Metal oriented track, “Where No One Would Shed a Tear” sees the vocal trio getting in a Halford-inspired high pitched vocals combined with the now-familiar Nergard harmonized voice lines in the chorus, a combination that works really well. Another great guitar solo on this one that elevates the track to another level, and is bookended by some nice counterpoint vocals.

Featuring ex-Iced Earth and Judas Priest vocalist Tim “Ripper” Owens, “Now Barely Three” is another typical Power/Symphonic Metal hymn. Keogh resorts back to growl vocals for the breakdown, providing good contrast to the singing style of their guest. One can’t help but wonder why they didn’t have Tim sing in “Where No One Would Shed a Tear” instead, where his signature Halford-like howl would be right at home.

“Erasing The Memories” bookends the record, a mellow ballad showcasing the male duo’s vocal capabilities and conveying in a very emotional manner the aftermath of the events described over the course of the album.


The change from a wide range of guest vocalists to a fixed trio pays off immensely, allowing Andreas to compose lines that are written with a specific voice in mind. The versatility of the three vocalists more than makes up for the lower headcount. Eternal White is a world-class Symphonic Metal record that will have both fans of more Power Metal-inclined bands in the genre like Avantasia and Nightwish satisfied, as well as lovers of the more Symphonic side of it who are fans of Epica and earlier Within Temptation. The great and varied vocal performances, the masterful orchestral arrangements, and great songwriting all work together to make this a record worth adding to your collection.


  • Alex Reis

    Alex is a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, born and raised in Curitiba, PR, Brazil, yet living in Antwerp, Belgium, since 2010. AC/DC was his first intro to Rock and Metal, but Metallica and Iron Maiden were the turning point for his love of the genre. Alex has played the guitar since he was 14, and has been an aspiring musician ever since.  Also serving as lead guitarist and vocalist for Belgian/Brazilian Hard Rock outfit SSC, Alex and co. have released a single a few years ago, but are yet to follow with a full-length  release that's been 20 years in the works. When Alex is not writing for MER or making music, he works at the Belgian tech scene, having served as CTO and other technical roles in numerous startups and organizations.

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