Folk Metal is something I've become a fan on recently, and after a little reading around, I noticed that Vintersorg were rather highly praised. I also recalled seeing the man being highly regarded as one of metal's best vocalists. Visions From The Spiral Generator
was the first of Vintersorg's work that I heard, and it remains the only one.
Upon my first listen, I was left feeling a little surprised, and possibly even slightly disappointed. It just didn't have any of the Folk elements I was expecting. Visions From The Spiral Generator
is much more progressive, technical, and I'd even go as far to label it as Avant Garde (Black Metal influenced). It certainly wasn't what I was expecting, that's for sure.
That being said, I gave it another couple of listens, and I'm so glad I did. It really is an amazing album, although it took me a while before I really started to appreciate it. It should be noted that this is the first Vintersorg album to feature a real Drummer. A place filled by Asgeir Mickelson, from Borknagar & Spiral Architect, and he does a great job. His playing is tasteful, without being too insane, yet retaining the ability to knock out a great fill when needed.
Steve DiGiorgio (Death, etc) handles Bass duties on Visions From The Spiral
, and does a good job, as expected. Unfortunately, he can be a little hard to hear during some of the more intense passages, but shines when he can be heard well. E.S.P. Mirage
and The Explorer
are three of his standout tracks, with an emphasis on The Explorer
Vintersorg and Mattias are responsible for everything else heard on the album, and I must say I'm very impressed by the duo. I can't distinguish between who is doing what on guitar, but it all sounds great, although it sounds kind of simple. The keyboards give off a spacey kind of sound throughout, reinforcing the subject matter of the of the lyrics, which have a theme of astronomy, science and philosophy.
As I expected, the vocals are the highlight of the album. Vintersorg's clean voice is incredible, and his more aggressive style's leave nothing to be desired either. Universums Dunkla Alfabet
provides an excellent example of his vocals, featuring his harsh, stunted kind of growls, before switching to his more melodic, clean style. Keep your ears alert for the chorus to A Star Guided Coronation
as well, as it'll be something that you'll be happy to have stuck in your head for days afterwards.
- Impeccable songwriting
- Incredibly vocal work
Overall, this is a superb release from the Swedish "duo", Vintersorg. I've read reviews with people stating that it is too weird/experimental etc, but that is far from the truth. Granted, it takes more than one listen to really catch your attention, but it more than makes up for that when it eventually does. I recommend this to any fan of Vintersorg, Arcturus or any other Avant Garde-ish band.
: Napalm Records
: June 24th, 2002
Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
: Mattias Marklund
: Steve DiGiorgio
: Asgeir Mickelson