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
. 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.
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
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.
Midnattsol - Midnight Sun
Nordlys - Northern Lights
Skogens Lengsel - Woods Longing
En Natt I Nord - A Night In The North
+ Very calm and melodic music
+ Decent vocal performance
+ The acoustic guitars had a good folk-tinged sound
+ Good sound production
- 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
-- New Horizon
-- River Of Virgin Soil
-- En Natt I Nord
Final rating will be a 2.5/5.