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’. It’s also very interesting 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 was lacking in 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.

Nordagust – MySpace page