- Doomy Mellotronic Blackness
Nordagust’s debut release, In the Mist of Morning, is Scandinavian to the bone, taking into account its predecessors such as Anglagard and Anekdoten yet carving out its own path through the forest with a very doomy, black sound. It’s a chalk full of moody and brooding textures, eerie atmosphere, and haunting, gratuitous mellotron. Did I say that there’s mellotron on this record? Nordagust essentially banks on the instrument throughout the entire record. With the title track, “In the Mist of Morning,” the album starts of fantastically dark and drives melancholic, yet memorable, melodies through the mix while delivering on the tron, first class. “In the Woods boasts one of the most devastatingly sorrowful intros I’ve ever heard with its slowly progressing arpeggiation backed by keyboard ambience and blended with the sound of a deep forest and a lifeless, icy brook. It’s a fairly short piece and could even be considered the prelude to “Elegy,” however, the song stands beautifully on its own. This isn’t to say that “Elegy” is a disappointment after this intro; all the opposite. The almost over the top emotional vocal performance is one of the best on the album, and its combination of mellotron swells spaced in between sections of gritty guitars provides nice pacing as the listener plunges deep into a northern winterscape, making “Elegy one of the strongest pieces on the album, in my opinion. Wrapping up the album nicely just before the outro is “Make Me Believe,” a track whose moments of grim mellotron choirs remind you once again that you are sitting alone, in the dark.
In my opinion, this is a fantastic debut that really moved me with its gorgeously black textures. The question, for me, then becomes, where does the band go from here? While the album is quite good, there’s not a lot of variety or moments that show that the band has definite directions towards which they will evolve in the future. Who knows though? Just producing a highly enjoyable debut album like In the Mist of Morning is an accomplishment, and Nordagust nailed it. I bet they have it in them to give us another walk through the woods with more savory mellotron goodness. I’ll be eager and waiting.