Finally I found the time to write the review of Mindnight Sun's debut album, Dark Tide Rising. If you look at my personal list of 2019, Midnight Sun made it to that list, at number 7 I can tell you. It is with great regret to inform you that Dark Tide Rising is the only album that will be made by this band, because they went on an immediate hiatus since march 2020.
Well, what has this album to bring you. First of all, it is a dark and heavy album, but not too heavy and not too dark. The styles that I hear are progrock combined with progmetal at some moments. But you can hear also neo prog. Midnight Sun are, or do I have to say, were... well, Huw Lloyd-Jones on vocals, Ian Hodson on keyboards and backing vocals, Andy Gelband on guitars, as well as Ben Swanwick, Sean Spear on the bass and Chris Habicht on the drums. Also played on the album are former band mates, Steve Dunn on bass, Jack Thomas on bass, Sam Slater on drums and Tom Ennis on guitars.
Lyrically the album is also dark. All the themes are based on loss, all in it's specific way. There are no weak songs on the album, only strong ones, and that is nice. On Scheharazade, the album opener, the keyboards are really prominent. Also the vocals are strong in this one. I had the thoughts that after the opener, you are directly into the album. Clouds, a song of more than 8 minutes, show you the excellent vocals of Huw, who you may recognize from the first two album of Also Eden. The other old band member of Also Eden is Ian. Towards the end of the song you will hear a few emotional guitar solos.
Broken Angels is some more neo prog. The bass reminds me of Haken with a nice solo that closes the track, what a nice surprise. Great song to me.
In Early Warning you can hear the great cooperation between the instruments and you can hear the big variety in the song. Half way thru the lyrics tell you about a storm and musically it is also the same, sounds of a storm, how nice! Lyrics and music are really one here.
Delirium has heavy guitars in the opening. The keyboard needs to calm down everything and is excellently done. Delirium is the song of the guitar parts for me, melodic and always there, great.
And then it is time for the song that closes all this great, great music, Control. And exactly what the meaning of the word control is, is what you can hear in this music, just kidding! Hypnotizing sounds directly pull you into the song, and you will hear them in the first 90 seconds of the song, but also after that, they will enter your brain and will hold you out of your control for days, so overwhelming are they. For the first time on the album you can hear a double bass drum, played great. After that a beautiful guitar solo combined with nice keyboards will bring rest for the first time in this song. It is good to hear that the bass gets some space in the song. After that Huw gets you by the guts again, you can simply not escape. All in all this is the longest and most powerful song on the album. Of course this is the album closer; no other song deserves that.
As I started my review I do regret that there will only be one album from Midnight Sun. I really, really hope that the musicians miss each other and will make some more of this music. Highly recommended if you ask me. Let the music take control!
****+ Michel Stolk (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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