When I first saw the cover, I was ready to place a bet that this […]
By Harry Papadopoulos
May 9, 2008
Midnattsol - Nordlys album cover

When I first saw the cover, I was ready to place a bet that this was going to be another Folk Metal album. When I saw the lineup, I was sure that I was going to listen to another boring album with female vocals. But, there is someone up there! Fortunately, the album was far from what I expected.

Even though I didn't know anything about the band, MIDNATTSOL (meaning midnight sun in Norwegian) are active since 2002. The band was formed by Chris Hector and singer Carmen Elise Espenaes. And if the name of the vocalist is reminding you of someone, she is the sister of Liv Kristine Espenae (ex - THEATRE OF TRAGEDY, LEAVES EYES). They have released their first, and only, self-titled demo a year later. In 2005 their debut album Where Twilight Dwells hit the stores. The band stared to have a core of fans, both from the Metal and Goth scene, due to their sound. Just a few weeks ago they released their second album, Nordlys.

As I wrote in the prologue, this release is not another album with female vocals. Their music creates a beautiful atmosphere, it captures your senses and it transports you to a fantasy world. Without doing something that will change the route of music, MIDNATTSOL has inspiration and quality. Even though the band itself says that they are playing Nordic Folk Metal, I think that it is easier to put the Symphonic/Goth Metal label to the band, even though they have some Folk Metal elements and - in some of their songs - Carmen is singing in her native language. If we would like to mention some bands their music may bring in mind, those are THEATRE OF TRGEDY (there old albums) and AMORPHIS (in their more melodic albums).

A very nice release, Nordlys is giving hopes for the future of the genre and the future of the band. Fans of female vocals are going to enjoy this album for sure, but I think that everyone who loves melodic music is going to like this album. They have my vote.

7 / 10


"Nordlys" Track-listing:

Open Your Eyes
Skogens Lengse
Northern Light
Race Of Time
New Horizon
River Of Virgin Soil
En Natt I Nord
Octobre (Bonus Track - Ltd Edition)

Midnattsol Lineup:

Carmen Elise Espenaes - Vocals
Birgit Ollbrunner - E-Bass, Acoustic Bass
Daniel Fischer - Keyboard
Christopher Merzinsky - Drums & Percussion
Chris Hector - Guitars, Mouthharp
Daniel Droste - Guitar

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