Midnattsol
Nordlys


2.5
average

Review

by Dethtrasher USER (232 Reviews)
July 11th, 2008 | 14 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This sounds more like gothic metal because of the soprano vocals, combined with a suffering performance and unmemorable melodies.

When you buy a new CD, and in this case a metal album, you often get these small commercial papers with various recommendations. I found one of these in an album I had purchased and noticed an album cover with two beautiful women on it. The band was called Mittnattsol and they describe themselves as ''Nordic folk metal''. Of course this intrigued me, so I ordered the album a couple of weeks after later. I got their latest album called Nordlys which is Norwegian for ''Northern Lights''. Midnattsol actually sounds like your average gothic metal band, combining, left-overs from Epica and Nightwish. The vocals shift between soprano vocals and normal singing and the instruments create a melodic and heavy sound. Unfortunately, there is not so much folk to be found. Midnattsol is a band that will hopefully develop into something good, but at this stage into their music career, they are way too generic.

Nordlys was a huge disappointment for me when first started to listen to it. There are two reasons why I don't like this album; the first one is vocalist Carmen Elise Espanaes and the second is the lack of folk atmosphere within music (which I had expected in the first place). Carmen has a good, normal singing voice, but when say goes into soprano mode, her voice sounds hollow and boring, sounding awful when her vocals reach a deeper tone. Gothic metal or Nordic folk metal, this sounds more like Gothic metal because the folk elements are few. The instruments are heavy and pulsing while acoustic guitars and keyboards interfere from time to time. Where are the folk influences and melodies that I was promised? Maybe this is the way German folk metal is supposed to sound like or maybe they tried to duplicate the Norwegians type of folk metal, who knows? The only aspect I would call ''folky'' in their tunes would be the beautiful acoustic guitars in New Horizon with the addition of some violins here and there with a couple of other melodic guitar parts throughout the album. If I had to choose another ''folky'' aspect in this album it would probably be the Norwegian lyrics in Skogens Lengsel and En Natt I Nord. Nordlys has great sound production because you can hear all the instruments perfectly. A few other positive aspects to the album include the variety in song structures and a mixture of some nice vocal arrangements here and there that are sung in Norwegian lyrics, pronounced decently.

There is not so much more to say about this album. Most people would like it, thanks to the melodic features and the female vocals, but is still way too generic to become a memorable album. You could easily put Tarja Tuurunen as the vocalist and this would sound like a Nightwish album. You could also take Sharon Den Adel as the vocalist and it would sound like a Within Temptation album. This sounds more like gothic metal because of the soprano vocals, combined with a suffering performance and unmemorable melodies. Folk music melodies have a more distinctive sound and structure and that’s what this album lacks. Folk music in general uses other types of instruments that usually enhance the folkish elements like a violin, bagpipes, key harp, or flutes. The band uses a mouthharp at the end of Race Of Time and some electric sounding violin scattered throughout. You need much more than that to create a good folk sounding atmosphere. This album is not a must have for fans of gothic/ folk music, but if you have a thing for female fronted metal bands and easy listening, melodic music you should check this out. Nordlys is a very melodic and calm album, combined with a decent amount of heavy metal.

Translations
Midnattsol - Midnight Sun
Nordlys - Northern Lights
Skogens Lengsel - Woods Longing
En Natt I Nord - A Night In The North

Positives
+ Very calm and melodic music
+ Decent vocal performance
+ The acoustic guitars had a good folk-tinged sound
+ Good sound production

Negatives
- This album is in no way a folk metal album
- The soprano vocals sound awful
- The music is too generic!
- Hardly any stand out tracks

Recommended Tracks
-- New Horizon
-- River Of Virgin Soil
-- En Natt I Nord

Final rating will be a 2.5/5.



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user ratings (10)
Chart.
3.1
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Dethtrasher
July 11th 2008


2211 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The bassist is pretty cute though.

Willie
Moderator
July 11th 2008


17199 Comments


Good review. I've heard this and wasn't impressed at all, but the two girls are very nice to look at.

ilikemusicthatsucks
July 11th 2008


1063 Comments


The fact that you have over 200 reviews and still aren't staff implies to me that I probably don't want to read this review.

ilikemusicthatsucks
July 11th 2008


1063 Comments


lawl jkjk good review posed

Willie
Moderator
July 11th 2008


17199 Comments


That could be a safe assumption, but as I understand it, Staff isn't an instant thing achieved at some magic number of reviews or level of quality

Edit: Nevermind.This Message Edited On 07.11.08

ilikemusicthatsucks
July 11th 2008


1063 Comments


Oh well I was just judging by the description of how you get in through the FAQ, which implied he had the numbers but still not the quality (see: encmetalhead). But in any case it was a joke anyway the review is fine.

Wizard
July 11th 2008


20099 Comments


These guys sounded awful, judging by a few tracks. Decent review Deththrasher.

BallsToTheWall
July 11th 2008


48007 Comments


It seems like I should like this. From the magazine interviews I should love this but meh, I never shared much love for the Kristine sisters. Nice review though, i'm happy with Silentium and After Forever though.

Digging: Drowning With Our Anchors - You can never go home again

Willie
Moderator
July 11th 2008


17199 Comments


I never shared much love for the Kristine sisters.
I'd share some love with the Kristine sisters... sorry couldn't help it.

Wizard
July 11th 2008


20099 Comments


Sloppy second that!

Dethtrasher
July 11th 2008


2211 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The little translation section might not be 100% correct so you know.

Shattered_Future
July 11th 2008


1555 Comments


Aw, lame. I kinda liked their first album. That one had a little bit more folk influence than this one seems to have.

Altmer
July 11th 2008


5700 Comments


i need to check these guys out

Hawks
July 11th 2008


49983 Comments


Good review. Im not going to check this out, but reading it made me want to listen to folk metal. I think I'll listen to To The Nameless Dead.

Digging: Cynic - The Portal Tapes



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