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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

album reviews

album review

Nordagust - In the Mist of Morning - 2010
albumcover

    
“Nordagust was the spirit of the north wind, also called ... the grieving souls spirit”

The name Nordagust comes from a myth, and according to that myth Nordagust was the spirit of the north wind. The spirit was said to be extremely wise, and was supposed to have insight in all things. The spirit was also called “the grieving souls spirit”. The music of Nordagust can be described as Norwegian inspired symphonic prog, dominated by mellotron (yes ... I have the full attention now of a lot of progVisions readers), vocals and guitar. The songs are driven by strong melodies and dramatic arrangements. For this album the band used a large number of traditional folk instruments for their Nordic sound (Kantele, Dulcimer, Mandolin, Sallowflute, Mouthharp, Conch, Accordion, Bells). This is toped by the untraditional use of Saw, Grindstone, Kettles, Barrels, Axe and Hammers. “In the Mist of Morning” is an atmospheric musical journey through the deepest woods and valleys of Norway, uniting the essence of progressive rock with the spirit of the north wind.

Daniel “Solur” Solheim - Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Samples, Kantele, Dulcimer, Mandolin, Sallowflute, Mouthharp, Conch, Axe, Hammer; Ketil Armand “Bergur” Berg - Drums, Percussion, Kantele, Saw, Accordion, Hammer, Bells, Voices, Grindstone, Kettles and Barrels; Knud “Strandur” Strand - Bass

The new members are: Jostein Aksel Skønberg - Keyboards, Flute, Vocals; Sissel Os - Samples, Vocals, Lur; Guro Elvik Strand - Guitar, Keyboards

Guest vocals by Agnethe Kirkevaag (Madder Mortem)

The album opener “In the Mist of Morning” brings you immediately to the dark woods of Norway. The atmosphere of the album is defined; mysterious sounds, the soaring voice of Daniel Solheim on top of a bed of slow mellotron and soaring guitar melodies. The tension of the music is slowly building up to a kind of climax. Intense music full of emotion. In the first section you can also hear the voice of Madder Mortem's vocalist Agnethe Kirkevaag. “Expectations” is a little bit more up tempo and has more aggression in the guitar parts. But the music stays on the mellow side and is always full of melody. The next track “Mysterious Ways” is a dark piece of symphonic rock with influences of bands like Änglagard and Anekdoten. Full of rhythm changes and aggression. But always accompanied by the melodic melodies of the mellotron. “In the Woods” is a short and delicate piece of music with Nordic folk influences. A combination of swelling mellotron sounds (with a breathtaking melody) and acoustic instruments and samples of sounds from the woods. Very nice. The sound of the mellotron in “Elegy” gives memories of the first King Crimson albums. The music is drenched with mellotron and the guitar parts have often a soaring sound. A lot of prog lovers are at this point already in a state of bliss. The track “Forcing” has some influences of the Swedish band Änglagard. It is an up tempo instrumental track with aggressive guitar parts. And some mellotron sounds reminds me of the French band Ange. Wow ... this is a modern and Nordic version of real sympho from the seventies ... just love it. “Frozen” has a slow opening but soon the tension of the music is slowly building up to a climax. In this track you can hear some great melodies. Nordagust's music is dominated by mellotron and guitar. “The tide” has a good balance of slow and up tempo parts. That is why the band can keep your attention. The next track is entitled “Make me believe” and is for me one of the highlights of this wonderful album. The vocals (by Agnethe Kirkevaag) are sung with a lot of passion, great mellotron and guitar parts, a lot of rhythm changes ... and when the tension of the music is building slowly up it climaxes in a soaring guitar solo. You will be completely overwhelmed by the passion and tension of the music. This track seemlessly goes into the closing part “Elegy epilogue”, a breathtaking mellotron melody that ends with the sounds from the wood.

The music on “In the Mist of Morning” is drenched with Mellotron. The music is melancholic, intense and full of passion and emotion. For me an unexpected surprise ... and I was completely overwhelmed by the music ... when my CD player stopped at the end of the album, I could only push the play button again. Overwhelmed by the emotion and intensity of Nordagust's music. We must be thankful to Karisma Records to have the guts to release this remixed and remastered album. “In the Mist of Morning” came out in 2007 as a demo. Daniel, Ketil and Knud welcomed newcomers Jostein, Sissel and Guro in the band to have the opportunity to play this material in a live setting. Well what can I say more ... for me Nordagust's album “In the Mist of Morning” is the surprise of 2010. No need to say that this album is a must for mellotron lovers.

Douwe Fledderus - November 2010
rating - Karisma Records

 

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