In The Mist Of Morning

Karisma Records 2011

Progressive rock, what an expansive description.  It could mean so much.  So what does it mean in regards to this release from Norway's Nordagust?  It means slow, melodic rock with loads of mellotron and sorrowful, yet sleepy vocals.  As a whole, I would say that Nordagust's style is sleepy.  The title track gets things going with drifting, ethereal movements and a pleading, dramatic voice.  Expectations is next with its beautiful vocal lines and calm, melodic guitar lines.  The song's rhythm is enhanced by a bouncing mouthharp.  The slow, shimmering beginning of Elegy is both chilling in its calmness and ghostly with its haunting vocals.  The song then lifts heavenward with powerful guitar riffs and imposing vocal emotions.  However, the longer the album draws on the more the songs run together and I am left feeling somewhat like it is too long.  The sleepiness of later parts of the album infects my impression of the earlier tracks.  Nordagust would like notice to be paid to all the additional instrumental elements sprinkled throughout the album (mouthharp, mandolin, etc.), however I feel that it all boils down to the synth, vocals and guitar.  That's where the focus should remain.  Nordagust never really gets too dramatic or hard-hitting, preferring to stay within the realms of softness and grey melodies.  It's as if the whole album is draped in a soothing mist and with its length it encourages me to hibernate beneath layers of arctic ice.  In The Mist Of Morning begins with much promise but that impression is seeps away as the album continues and the songs blur into one another.