has an epic-viking feel to it, Ödemarkens Son
has almost no growling yet still the black-metal atmosphere, a high "playability" rating for Cosmic Genesis
and Focusing Blur are just strange, profound and trippy. I was hooked on Vintersorg
, and along with many others awaited with nervous anticipation for the release of their 2011 release - Jordpuls
. I made it my mission to seek this album out and enjoy the latest release from Mr. V and company.
I was both amazed and shocked to find an album that is very devoid of that epic, archaic feeling, far from his original dream of the Otyg
-years, with almost no playability and nothing strange about it. I try not to be a purist and like new material as much as the old material, but I have no excuse for this album. I never thought I could actually be bored by a Vintersorg
album. If it is at all possible for harsh, growling, blast-beating, tremolo-picking black metal to lull the listener into a state of sleep, it is Jordpuls
. (check the sixth track - I'm not the only one who is sleeping to this album. Lol, that was a joke; I thought it wasn't that bad)
What we have here is an album that is slowly starting to sound very similar, not to other bands from their area' even Vintersorg
sounds nothing like this - but to other albums from the band itself. It is almost a recapitulation of the material from Solens Rötter
. I wish it were not so, because I know Vintersorg
is capable of making music that is entertaining, interesting, profound and even harsh and gloomy. Maybe its because this album is in Swedish, but I doubt it: Till Fjälls
and Ödemarkens Son
are in all-Swedish and I am never bored by them. It's just not a powerful album, in my opinion.
This should be relatively easy to make a review that is not track-by-track. The first track is nothing special and unless you are a die-hard fan, it might bore you out of listening to the rest of it. It does, however, set the over-all tone and rhythm of the album: growling over "fast", tremolo-picked guitars and then singing over a fastly-played acoustic guitar. Keep in mind that Mr. V used to sing low-register vocals, but now, perhaps because of his affiliation with Borknagar
or some other reason, he only sings tenor...a great disappointment.
Okay, so is there anything good about this album? If you haven't left the album by the third track, "Till Dånet...", is a pleasant surprise. It's a nice, heavy, mid-paced track, where Mr. V gives his growling a rest and goes on with some clean (albeit high-register) vocals. There's also a guitar solo on this track! Unlike previous Vintersorg
albums, this one features far fewer guitar solos than Vintersorg
is wont to create...another disappointment. There's plenty of acoustics and keyboards, but they do little to make the song especially interesting.
A few mediocre tracks follow, then comes "Skogen
Sover." Though there's nothing new about it, this song does attempt to have some structure, using the inverted ballad form with heavy verses and lively, folksy acoustic choruses, with some of Mr. V's best singing on this album. Unfortunately, the next unique track isn't until the very end. Like "Till Dånet...", "Eld Och Lågor" is four minutes of strings and acoustics, which are a welcome respite from the annoyingly repetitive songs of before (there's a strings passage on "Palissader" that sounds frighteningly like something by Danny Elfman!). Perhaps the most surprising thing about "Eld Och Lågor" is the bluesy-sounding guitar solo. For those who don't know, the black metal scene came as a mimicry/mockery of Venom
, both of which were either inspired or repulsed by the New Wave of British Heavy Metal
, which would not have come about were it not for the first wave of blues-inspired bands like Black Sabbath
, Led Zeppelin
, Uriah Heep
and Deep Purple
. Therefore, metal owes its very existence to R&B and to see a member of the genre that has tried so hard to distance itself not only from R&B but from all semblance of musical form and skill create something that is a tribute to the roots of our great genre, it is always welcome.
Stylistically and content-based, this album is nothing to sneer at. It's nature-worship, the oldest form of science. However, that doesn't change the fact that this album is boring. This coming from a fan of every Vintersorg
album who is trying hard to find good reasons to like both this and Solens Rötter
...but coming up empty-handed. It's ordinary music from a band capable of the extraordinary.