16 January 2016

Pointless video post – ‘Kong Valemons Kamp’ by Midnattsol

I recently discovered Nordic folk metal band Midnattsol through this song, which is apparently based on a traditional Norwegian folktale similar to Beauty and the Beast: a king bewitched to wear the hide of a polar bear, and a girl who falls in love with him and tries to save him from the curse. The music has some similarities to the likes of Nightwish and Edenbridge, but the tone of it is far mistier, more melancholy, and has some similarities with some of Forefather’s recent work that way. The singer, Carmen Elise, is younger sister to Liv Kristine of Leaves’ Eyes; and though they use their voices somewhat differently, there is a similarity also in that they add a sad and wistful colour to their songs. Carmen has a more understated (but consistent) presence, which allows her to do some creative blending with the instrumentation. This gives Midnattsol a fun versatility which is lacking in a number of other bands in this symphonic-gothic-operatic-power subgenre. But what really sealed the deal for me was the truly icy, spine-tingling guitar hook that creeps in on ‘A Predator’s Prey’ - if you’re going to do Nordic folk metal, you really want to be able to hit those sublimely evocative boreal highs. Midnattsol’s sophomore album Nordlys is an excellent album also, but The Metamorphosis Melody just has a number of these brighter points of brilliance to it. Do give them a listen, gentle readers!

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