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Released: 2001, Limb Music
I really didn’t know what to think of this band when I first got the CD. The hype was that they were sharp edged powermetal. I think that tag is limiting to a great extent. There is much more on this CD than straight ahead powermetal. The band has its epic moments and throws in a healthy dose of upbeat prog metal to create a mix that separates them from the true metal crowd. Midnight Sun was formed in Sweden in the summer of 1996 under the name Tranquillity. The band played many shows and after changing their name to Midnight Sun, recorded their debut release ANOTHER WORLD in 1997. A year later the band released their second album ABOVE AND BEYOND with the help of guitar player John Norum. (Europe, Dokken). For their third release, NEMESIS, the band recruited a new guitarist by the name of Magnus Karlsson. Karlsson , though young, was a veteran of many Swedish acts. Now in 2001 Midnight Sun have released their fourth disc METAL MACHINE.
To be honest. I had never heard of Midnight Sun till I got this disc a few days ago. I didn’t get into it right away because I expected it to be straight ahead powermetal when I popped it in, ala the promotional material. Well these guys are nothing of the sort. The first track "Metal Gods" (they must have balls to write this song) is very crisp with very choppy guitar riffs and at times strikes me as almost metal techno. There is a choir present for the chorus with both male and female vocals which is a different sound for this type of track. "Dungeons of Steel" is an almost prog track that even has some acoustic guitar. The title track is a more traditional riffing metal track mixed with some progressive overtones. "Steel" and "Fight" and straight ahead metal tracks and prove that these guys can shred with the best of them. The Cd closes with a hidden acoustic track. This is totally different than anything else on the CD and would have made a great addition as a regular track as it would have provided an interesting interlude.
Midnight Sun is an interesting band. Part powermetal, part progressive and epic. A little bit of all of the above but still seeming to be not enough of any one thing to grab attention. At times there are AC/DC like riffs that are followed by keyboards and choirs. Interesting but almost disjointed at times. This is a good CD. Midnight Sun is obviously not content to just rehash old ideas. If they continue in this vein they are sure to hit metal gold at some point.
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