Friday, July 22, 2011

Midnattsol - The Metamorphosis Melody (2011)

Midnattsol has done it again. The band from Germany and Norway has released their third studio album, entitled "The Metamorphosis Melody." It's got a mix of symphonic sounds and folk tones. Midnattsol is a very diverse group and has really reached out to their listeners with this album. It's got lots of exciting riffs and drum rolls that are full of energy.

The album kicks off with a beautiful introduction, entitled "Alv," which is filled with epic strings and flutes that build up to heavier guitars and drums. It sounds like the intro to a Lord Of The Rings Movie. This quickly jumps into "The Metamorphosis Melody." Rapid double bass pedaling and catchy melodic riffs come flying into the song. Lead singer Carmen Elise enters with her soft operatic vocals. Her melody carries well with this song. However, there are a few songs on the album where it seems that her vocals just don't belong with the background instruments. For example, "Spellbound" has some amazing guitar and bass work. The guitar riffs are heavy as they chug away throughout the song. The drums are explosive and provide a solid bang to the track. The only thing that doesn't seem to really fit well is the vocals. They seem to be too soft for the track. The guitar riffs are monstrous and aggressive and the vocals seem to cover that up and put you to sleep. Definitely pay close attention to the impressive guitar work in this song. Don't let the vocals put you down.

Now, on the other hand, their are songs like "The Tide" which are perfect for Carmen's vocals. Things slow down with this song, as acoustic melodic guitars take over. The soothing, clean vocals slowly make there way to the verse and provide a gorgeous atmosphere. As the refrain kicks in, beautiful synthesizers float in the background of the distorted guitars and deafening drums. You'll also find piano and different types of string instruments in the song as well. As the ending fades, heavy melodic guitar riffs come right back in starting off the song "A Poet's Prayer." The structure of the guitars and how they are layered together is incredible. Unfortunately, this is another song in which the vocals really take away from the momentum. The chorus isn't bad, as it builds up and everything is at the same level. But during the verses, the vocals hide the music. Even "Kong Valemons Kamp" has similar issues. Listen to the mindblowing solos in this song. So much power in the guitars and bass. There is a small part in which the instruments fade out during the refrain and her voice is perfect for it. It's just her and soft guitars. However, once the distortion comes back in it just overpowers her vocals and seems like she isn't aggressive enough to keep up.
"Forvandlingen" is a well rounded song providing a little bit of everything. The riffs in the beginning add beauty while it builds up to the distorted melodic riffs. This is definitely the time to pump your fists in the air. The same issue arises with the vocals being weaker than the music, but you should be used to it by this point. The drum fills are marvelous as they constantly and change are always filled with different details. The solos hit all the high notes and really brighten up the track. "My re-creation" Is another beautiful track that starts off slower and softer with acoustic guitars, strings and Carmen's soothing voice. Awesome drumming enters and is subtle yet, at the same time, puts some bass in the song. This all builds up to louder riffs and crazy cymbals splashing everywhere. The double bass after the refrain is absolutely insane.

Overall the album is pretty impressive musically. The guitars were impressive and the drums were on point in every track. As far as the vocals go, Carmen is a great singer, the band just needs to figure out how to incorporate her soft voice in such energetic music. I feel like they try forcing her vocals in certain parts that just don't go together. To sum things up, "The Metamorphosis Melody" is a very moving album and is definitely worth having a listen to. So check it out!


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