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Image © Napalm Records 2005

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Image © Napalm Records 2005

(15 May 2005) The new Norweigian group Midnattsol are making their debut with the 11-track album Where Twilight Dwells (Napalm Records (USA), 2005) and they have been signed to a superb label. Midnattsol fits perfectly alongside Leaves' Eyes (feature forthcoming), Draconian, and Elis. Fans of epic sounding gothic metal will be pleasantly surprised by what they hear from this young band.

Gothic metal bands tend to all blend together, especially on debut albums, but Midnattsol seems to have found their place rather quickly. Their sound is both distinct and seasoned on this album. Gorgeous lead singer Carmen Espanaes, sister of the stunning Liv Kristian (Leaves' Eyes and Theatre of Tragedy (review) fronts the band.

The band lineup also includes Chris Merizinsky (drums), Daniel Fishcher (keyboards), Christian Hector (guitar, acoustic guitar), Birgit Ollbrunner (bass) and Daniel Droste (guitar, acoustic guitar). Lear more about the band in our exclusive interview.

Midnattsol's music focuses almost entirely on the subject of Nordic mythology throughout the lyrical content of Where Twilight Dwells. This strong focus creates an interesting lyrical atmosphere as well as an often haunting musical one. The album's lyrics are enhanced by the music and vice versa. It’s a definite marriage of the two and one could probably not exist without the other. Both are strong though and that’s rare for such a young band.

Midnattsol proves they can rock though with metal-edged songs like "Dancing With the Midnight Sun" and "Another Return" but in all fairness it's the quieter moments that really pull the listener deeply into the heart of the album. The passionate "Unpayable Silence" and the wonderful acoustic artistry of "Tarefall" are amazing songs that easily transcend musical boundaries. It goes beyond the blending of classical with gothic and metal, it reaches for the stars and nearly grabs hold of them.

The variety on this album prevents the listener from boxing this band into any one category. Where Twilight Dwells is a fascinating and superbly creative musical journey by a very talented group of musicians. This young band with has bright future ahead of them. Count us in.--Mark Fisher in West Virginia and Russ Elliot in New York

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