Midnattsol – Nordlys

Carmen Elise Espenæs, the younger sibling of Leaves Eyes vocalist Liv Kristine Espenæs Krull,  is the vocalist for Midnattsol, (translation: “Midnight Sun”). I’ve gotta give Carmen props, she sounds nothing like her sister Liv and Midnattsol sounds nothing like Leaves Eyes.

Nordlys or “Northern Lights” is the bands second album and has become one of my favorite albums to listen to because the music is diverse, complex, simple, and honest. On listening to it one could think they have heard the style of playing before yet cannot place where or whom played it, the band certainly wears their influences well, mixing together various players and in doing so creating their own sound.
Carmen has a voice that is both melancholic and haunting, moving from rich, deep tones to higher pitches as she holds onto a note, next reversing the process from higher to lower. She can come across lighthearted and heavyhearted in the same breath whether she is singing in English or in her native tongue of Norway.
It is not only her vocals. The singing works so well because the guitars work well with her octaves and emotional inflections.

The band considers itself kind of Nordic Folk Metal as many of their lyrics are about legends from Norway (many bands from Scandinavia include myths and legends from their country in their lyrics; think Immortal or Dimmu Borgir). Whatever they consider themselves I do hope capable is one of the words they use to describe their musicianship because yes, the music is simple in itself but the arrangement of each song is complex underneath in the same way that Guns N’ Roses Appetite For Destruction had complex underlying rhythms played against simple rock and roll groove.
Midnattsol has well rounded talent and earnestness; they are excellent songwriters and captivating storytellers.

Track listing for Nordlys:
01: Open Your Eyes
02: Skogens Lengsel
03: Northern Light
04: Konkylie
05: Wintertime
06: Race Of Time
07: New Horizon
08: River Of Virgin Soil
09: En Natt I Nord
10: Octobre

There are times when I am listening to the singing and feel like I am hearing a singer from an earlier time or period. The song Wintertime, the intro, gives me the impression strongest.

If you have never heard Midnattsol you are missing out on some damn good ethereal music.