MIDNATTSOL: "Where Twilight dwells" midnattsol
“Where Twilight Dwells” ' world can be further explored through a book entitled En dans i midnattsol (A Dance In The Midnight Sun). Written by Doreen Krase and available through www.edition42.net, the book is a Nordic fairytale connected to the midnight sun and the themes explored in MIDNATTSOL’s lyrics.
Produced by Alexander Krull & Midnattsol -
Recorded by Alexander Krull at Mastersound-Studios in Fellbach (www.mastersoundstudio.de)
by Matthew "Newbreed99" Haumschild___
I see “Folk metal” from the Scandinavian part of the globe, the
first thing I think of is Finntroll. Debate if you will if Finland is in
that region, however, in Midnattsol’s description on their website, it
clearly states “Nordic Folk Metal.” I am thinking of badass riffs
with a bad ass female. I was incorrect. It was nothing that I had
pre-conceived prior to listening to the CD. The best way to describe the
bands sound is power-metal with a female vocalist singing of songs of
middle earth*. It took me about six times before “Where Twilight
Dwells,” started to grow on me. The band is dead on, pounding drums,
and blazing-melodic guitar solos, everything you could expect from a
power-metal band. The problem I have though are with the vocals:
Carmen’s voice, has a nice tone, but should it be in a metal band or
children’s music? In a sense, it reminds me of early Cristina Scabbia
before she learned how to release her voice. Carmen fails to belt out
lyrics. She sings them as if she’s just reading off paper. It lacks
heart and soul needed to get peoples genuine attention. I’ll repeat,
the tone is there, now just put the whole diaphragm in there and boom!
Then we have a vocalist that could threaten the very fabric of society
but not on this album.
After listening to “Where Twilight Dwells” about a dozen
times, I have determined that this album has very few songs that would
appeal to a broad metal audience: “Another
Return,” is a really nice
song that gets the blood pumping! Lots of drum rolls and double bass
kicks, songbird type vocals and half time feel guitars. Not to mention
that this song has frequently been stuck in my head more times than I
can count over the past few weeks. Another great track is “Lament”.
The band here sounds really tight! Heavy guitars, a dreary keyboard
riff, and then the verse kicks in and could easily start a nice pit!
Those two tracks are well worth the price of admission. “Desolation”
seems like the song should have stayed in the middle ages. It has
depressive feeling to it, almost gothic but the drums are going to fast
to make it that way. The vocals in this song are mesmerizing almost
zombifying. In short, I’d have to say that this track is a power
ballad, the likes of which I haven’t heard done well in a long time.
The quality of the recording
is top notch. An Audiophile
couldn’t ask for anything more. The production
is there, however I
would criticize the song order. During the mastering stage or whoever
decided the song list didn’t take in consideration that the two
strongest songs are on the middle of this CD. Now, if “Another
Return” were placed in the middle of the CD, it would keep my
attention. If I were just an average listener, I’d listen to this CD a
few more times for the first two tracks and forget about it and the next
time I’d see the band’s name pop up, I’d likely wouldn’t care.
Other than that, the guitar sound is amongst the best I’ve heard,
absolutely perfect for this type of music, same with all the other
instruments. Vocals could have had a better reverb on it not to mention
an extra .005-second delay and just a tad more compression and you’d
have utter perfection.
Matthew Haumschild 06.03.2005
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