NORDAGUST - In The Mist Of Morning
This Norwegian formation was founded in the late Nineties as a trio but nowadays it has turned into a six-piece band. During the years Nordagust released three demo’s, in 1999, 2001 and 2003. Then the debut CD entitled In The Mist Of Morning was released as a demo in 2007 and in 2010 as an official album by the Norwegian label Karisma Rekords. The ten compositions are simply structured but contain strong emotional overtones. The climates alternate between dreamy, compelling and sumptuous featuring breathtaking interplay between the Mellotron in its full splendor, intense guitar work and a propulsive rhythm-section. An extra dimension is the vocal contribution, pretty expressive (I notice elements of the late Marc Bolan): the one moment fragile or melancholic, the other moment powerful with a desperate or sad undertone. Although Nordagust reminds me of the debut albums by Anglagard and Landberk, their sound owns a special flavour because of the huge emotion and the frequent interludes with a lush Mellotron sound, especially the choir-section is mindblowing! This is perfectly topped by sensitive and harder-edged guitar play. At some moments it sounds a bit more folky, like in the mellow and wonderful In The Woods featuring dreamy Mellotron violins. I am delighted about Nordagust their first official CD release, from my first listening session I am carried away to Progrock Heaven! For sure fans of Anglagard, Anekdoten, Landberk and Sinkadus will be very pleased. But it’s even more recommended to all fellow Tron-maniacs, this is one of the most impressive Mellotron drenched progrock albums I have ever listened to (and I have heard tons of Trons since the early Seventies). So a big hand for Norwegian proggers Nordagust!

Erik Neuteboom for Dutch progrock magazine iO Pages

 

Background magazine

 

Sometimes you get a notification of a certain album released by a certain band. Mostly the band name doesn't ring a bell. This happened to me when I got a press release from In The Mist Of Morning made by the Norwegian band Nordagust. Since my hunger for new music and new bands is always present, I gave the music a try. I checked out some of the sound samples on their MySpace-page which is the easiest way to discover a band. Wow! The music I heard had definitely something to tell and I decided that I would like to hear more of Nordagust! A promo was being arranged and as soon as I received the copy of Nordagust's debut album I put it in my CD-player and...the music hit me right in the face. This album appeared to be a real killer album which kept spinning in my CD-player and in the back of my head for days!

I just couldn't escape from this beautiful progressive rock music. I was addicted to In The Mist Of Morning playing it almost compulsively several times a day. The great Mellotron-parts and the fine melodic guitar sound produced by these Norwegian musicians were just breathtaking. Also the very emotionally sung male lead vocals fit in with the music perfectly. The heavy guitar interludes on some of the tracks are a welcome change in the high level of the compositions. The music from Nordagust is mostly inspired by Norway's beautiful nature. Especially the instrumental track In The Woods contains wonderful playing on the acoustic guitars accompanied by an impressive Mellotron-sound. The music on In The Mist Of Morning - lasting nearly one hour - certainly has some links with other Scandinavian progressive rock bands like Landberk, Anekdoten and Änglagård. However, I realize that the music of Nordagust has a bigger impact on me than these bands.

Despite the quality of the album, I still got a remark to make. Maybe the production could have been better if more money and time had been available. However, this release is a demo originally recorded in 2007. It was remixed and remastered later on for this second 2010-release, but this doesn't prevent me from giving this album the well-deserved highest rating of five stars! All songs are simply perfect and thus this rating is the only way to express my positive feelings towards In The Mist Of Morning. I can't live with less because this album undoubtedly belongs to one of the musical highlights of 2010. Highly recommended!

***** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)

 

Nordagust – In The Mist Of Morning

Posted on by homenucleonics

In The Mist Of Morning is the debut album of the Norwegian band Nordagust (meaning “spirit of the north wind”). On this album the sextet performs a very intense mix of symphonic prog rock and dark medieval music.

When I first heard the music of this band, specifically the opening title track, the early sound of Barclay James Harvest came to my mind instantly as it’s very similar here. Rather slow songs, epic Mellotron sections (including strings, choirs, horns etc.), straightforward guitar work and long instrumental passages are the band’s specialities. This is good on one side because Nordagust manage to sound even better and stronger than BJH at many points, sometimes heading towards symphonic metal like in Mysterious Ways or Elegy. Very interesting is that the band’s lead singer Daniel Solheim sounds like Roger Waters most of the time.

On the other side, all songs share a very similar sound despite the fact that so many classical or unusual instruments like a dulcimer, a mouth harp, saws, kettles and more have been used. But this way a certain atmosphere is created which lasts the whole album. The dark heaviness is essential and always present, partly achieved through the broad but not overproduced sound of the album. This, for genre-specific comparison, is what lacked David Minasian’s latest album. The powerful song structures are the other part of this dark and heavy sound.

Although the song lengths are very different, ranging from three to nine minutes, all songs are equally good as well as the band’s musical abilities. The melodies never become boring and there’s a special tension throughout the whole album, making it even more interesting.

All in all Nordagust’s In The Mist Of Morning is a fantastic debut album with an epic sound and strong melodies. I hope that the band will continue that way. There isn’t much to improve.

written by Wolfgang Merx

 

PROGGNOSIS

 

Published on: 27 Nov 2010

The scenario starts being set as soon as you open your mailbox and Nordagust's debut In the Mist of Morning is in. The cover is cold, dark and raw, making you wonder about the content...Thoughts that travel through the gelid landscapes of Nordic lands usually punctuated by Black or Doom metal, or the white umber emotional slightly folksy (many times Viking tingled) and calm Scandinavian typified sympho prog. And you just can't wait to put the CD on the tray, sit down and travel...

This put, and with the notion that I just love that type of music that is able to transport us to atmospheres, ambiances and a vivid imagery of landscapes, well defined in our thoughts, let me just tell you what I felt in a metaphorical way:

The stage is the far North of Europe. I stand by the window of a wood shed, the fireplace in my back, giving me a sense of cozy comfort as I stand by the window looking at the almost unnoticeable lake in the distance, bounded by the tall pine trees that mix the green and white, all greyish by the soft and semi-thick mist of a winter morning. The landscape is covered in snow providing a vision of white that is strangely darkened by the soft absence of strong sunlight. And this is what I see as I close my eyes with Nordagust's music

filling my surroundings.

With calm textures that slowly built up in tension just to abruptly find their fjord that suddenly dive the music back to calming waters, the musicality of Nordagust envelops emotional singing, heavenly pinched Mellotronic symphonic tapestries, folk instruments intrusions that enrich the music by giving them a sense of ancient poetry and a melancholic and sensible vibe that allows the listener to really feel the music that is being played.

Trying to frame the band within more recognizable boundaries, the Mellotron playing uses the same philosophy as Anekdoten or the calmer parts of Anglagard, providing a deep orchestral feel in the background with its languid and accurate notes. The singing is tremendously emotional, as it purely transmit a set of feelings that mostly relate with the desperate loneliness and the strange nostalgic beauty that the rawest natural landscapes set upon the watcher. The guitar stands out in a very melodic and harmonious way, providing continuing melodious lines that travel through wonder, power, delicacy, traditional tunes and darkness. The folk instruments complete the set adding it originality, uniqueness and that geographical touch that always amaze the outsider.

If the languishing parts do bring Landberk to memory, a strange connection to an imaginary non metal and slowed down Arcturus also come to mind, as the music of Nordagust is never heavy and distorted but many times makes me think of a pure symphonic doom or black metal sonicscapes. Reinforcing this though, In the Mist of Morning seems to have a strange relation with the Viking metal propositions of band such as Sig:Ar:Tyr (even if these are Canadian) or later Rakoth.

As the album plays on, the listener is continuously offered a vast palette of grey textures and that always present emotional arousing that allows us to really feel the music. This is one of the wonderful factors of Nordagust's music : the imposition of emotions in a dark and deep way, just like later Antimatter is able to provide.

This is one of the best discoveries of 2010, and for suckers of calm/tense darkly pinched and emotional music, here enriched by an orchestral and folk capsule that stronger those factors, In t he Mist of Morning is an obviously obligatory discovery. Superbly though and played, I cannot recommend this enough

 

By Nuno

 

Review  PROGVISIONS

in the mist of morning 

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. “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.

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

 

MONSTER har nå skiftet navn til NORWAY ROCK


"The best demo I can remember to have heard, came from NORDAGUST about 2 years ago. And now there is a new, and the development is obvious. The band has grown tighter, and it all sound more dynamic, it's heavier,and there is more focus on the songs, and it's more orchestral. Stylistic you can call them progressive. You can easily tell they have been listening to bands like LANDBERK and ANEKDOTEN. Most peculiar is, that these guys already has managed to achieve, what most bands today is struggling with, to get their own identity

The new songs are more dynamic,organic and heart-rending sad. The best song is "Elegy", mellotron and heavy guitars weaves a perfect underground to the mellow vocals, and I like everything I hear-exept from the production. Give this band a record deal now !"

 

Gå til Scream Magazine


"The main idea of the band NORDAGUST is to find inspiration from old and unknown nordic folk music, and to integrate it with heavy rock. Of cause this has been done before, but these guys do it very well. Sometimes it's really heavy, but also progressive,ambient and magic.Not so far removed from a band like ANEKDOTEN. There is a special atmosphere over the whole product, and the band has succeeded in capturing the sound of nature, in a credible way.The best song is the dynamic "Elegy"."

 

 

Gå til Tarkus Magazine

"It's been 2 years since we last heard from Daniel Solheim and company.This is the trio that emerged when OCEAN folded. This is their second demo, and they present 23 minutes of music, and three new songs. Compared to the first demo from 1999, they have moved in a heavier and more progressive direction.

The music can be described as norwegian-inspired symphonic prog-dominated by mellotron, vocals and guitar.It changes between sensitive and heavier parts, and the music emerges as mighty as the norwegian nature. Edward Grieg would probably get curious about prog-rock after listening to this.!!!

Sometimes it becomes a little turgid, but the overall listening-exprience is very nice. In connection with the first demo, the dynamics is clearer and the production is better, even if improvements still could be done. The guitar's sound dry(intended or not). I have a feeling that these boys can work wonders in a current studio, which I believe they have serious plans to do.

I think this music will be difficult to play live with only three people, but I hope they can do that in the future. Hopefully there will be an official CD release by this gang soon.

Watch out for these guys !

 



 

 

Art by Linda Irene Myhrer
 
 
Art by:Kikki (Ann-Kristin Solheim)