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|Origin||Ludwigsburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany|
|Genres||Gothic metal, folk metal|
|Associated acts||Savn, Ahab, Leaves' Eyes|
|Members||Carmen Elise Espenæs|
|Past members||Christian FüttererChristian HectorFabian "Fabz" PospiechDaniel DrosteBirgit ÖllbrunnerMatthias SchulerChris Merzinsky|
Midnattsol are a gothic/folk metal band from Germany. The band was founded in 2002 by Norwegian vocalist Carmen Elise Espenæs and German guitarist Christian Hector. Midnattsol means 'midnight sun' in Norwegian (even though the phenomena is actually spelled midnattssol and not midnattsol).
Founding and Where Twilight Dwells (2002 - 2007)
In 2002, singer Carmen Elise Espenæs and guitarist Christian Hector founded Midnattsol with the intention to start working on a new project once they found like-minded musicians to join their band. Espenæs had recently moved from her native Norway to Germany to stay with her sister Liv Kristine, a member of the band Theater of Tragedy. The other members of the first Midnattsol lineup were drummer Chris Merzinsky (formerly of Penetralia) and keyboardist Daniel Fischer, with guitarist Daniel Droste and bassist Birgit Öllbrunner added slightly later. With this formation, the band recorded a demo and got a record contract with Napalm Records. Espenæs wrote most of the band's lyrics, and contributed to the musical composition.
Their sound is essentially symphonic metal with influences from folk metal and power metal. The band prefers to call their style "Nordic folk metal" because of the folk elements in their music and occasional Norwegian lyrics. Their lyrics are largely based on Norwegian folk tales. Their first full-length album, Where Twilight Dwells, was released in 2005.
Nordlys (2008 - 2010)
Their next album, Nordlys, was released on March 28, 2008. After three years of the release of their well-received debut album, Midnattsol decided change direction and to compose an album with dark atmospheres in a melodic and heavy sound, influenced more closely by traditional gothic metal. In contrast, Nordlys is little inspired by Nordic folk metal and it is less introspective that its predecessor.
Particularly noteworthy is the experimentation in the soprano vocals of their lead singer Carmen Ellise Espenæs, as well as the extensive dedication in the guitar solos of Daniel Droste and Christian Hector. However, Hector (a founding member), left the group shortly after the release of the album in order to concentrate on his other band Ahab, being briefly replaced by Fabian Pospiech in live performances.
The band won the "Best Hope" award at the Metal Female Voices Fest 2009 due to the majority of votes by the fans. In spring 2010 they announced their return to the studio to record their third album, with updates for fans via studio reports on YouTube posted on their official Twitter.
The Metamorphosis Melody (2011-2017)
The third album The Metamorphosis Melody was released on April 22, 2011. It was recorded with Alex Kautz as the new Midnattsol guitarist, who joined the band shortly after the release of their previous album Nordlys in 2008, replacing to Fabian Pospiech. Nevertheless Krautz did a fine job playing with the members who had been part of Midnattsol from the beginnings.
Later, guitarist and composer Daniel Droste left the band after the recording sessions for The Metamorphosis Melody that finished in 2010 to focus solely on his own band Abab. To replace him, joined Matthias Schuler as official member for the respective promotional tour, made between 2011 and 2013.
Compared to their previous work, The Metamorphosis Melody goes back to its symphonic Nordic sound and includes some themes inspired by Norwegian folk tales, with soothing vocals coming from the voice of Carmen Elise Espenæs, but less operatic.
In 2013 it was announced that Espenæs, with The Sins of Thy Beloved members Anders Thue and Stig Johansen, formed the band called Savn. That band released a self-titled album in 2014. Meanwhile, Midnattsol was on a long break between 2013 and 2017.
The Aftermath (2017 - present)
In March2017, guitarist Stephan Adolph joined as a new member. Adolph had already worked with Midnattsol on their debut album Where Twilight Dwells. Previously, bassist Birgit Öllbrunner, drummer Chris Merzinsky and guitarist Matthias Schuler left the band for personal reasons before the recording sessions for the new album began at the end of 2017.
On December 14, 2017, it was announced that Liv Kristine had become the official second vocalist for Midnattsol, she was originally announced to be a guest on their new album but after some discussions, the band added her as a permanent member. Their fourth studio album, The Aftermath, was released on May 25, 2018.
Lyrically, in comparison to all its distant predecessors, The Aftermath has much more Nordic folk influences, including gothic metal songs with a somber social content.
Former guitarists Daniel Droste and Christian Hector recently joined forces with Stephan Adolph to form Ahab, a German funeral doom metal band. Chris Merzinsky and Birgit Öllbrunner are also playing in the band R:I:P.
- Carmen Elise Espenæs – vocals (2002 - present)
- Daniel Fischer – keyboards (2002 - present)
- Alex Kautz – guitars (2009 - present)
- Stephan Adolph - guitars, bass (2017 - present)
- Liv Kristine - vocals (2017 - present)
- Christian Fütterer – guitars (2002)
- Christian Hector – guitars (2002–2008)
- Fabian "Fabz" Pospiech – guitars (2008–2009)
- Daniel Droste – guitars (2003–2010)
- Birgit Öllbrunner – bass (2002-2017)
- Chris Merzinsky – drums (2002-2017)
- Matthias Schuler – guitars (2011-2017)
- Midnattsol (2003)
- Bowar, Chad (2 May 2011). "Carmen Elise Espenaes Interview". Heavy Metal. About.com. p. 2. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
- Van Dijk, Erwin (27 June 2012). "Interview : Carmen Elise Espenæs – Midnattsol (2008)". Femme Metal Webzine. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
- [permanent dead link]
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-17. Retrieved 2009-03-05.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Midnattsol (@Midnattsol_Band) | Twitter". Twitter.com.
- "MIDNATTSOL, THE SINS OF THY BELOVED Members Join Forces In SAVN". Blabbermouth.net. 2013-07-17. Retrieved 2018-06-08.
- "MIDNATTSOL INTRODUCE NEW GUITARIST STEPHAN ADOLPH". Bravewords.com. 2017-03-26. Retrieved 2017-03-26.
- "Midnattsol – Band". Laut.de. Retrieved 11 January 2019.