Vintersorg
Naturbal


4.5
superb

Review

by MstrlrdSteelDragon USER (2 Reviews)
July 6th, 2014 | 12 replies | 1,244 views


Release Date: 06/27/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Andreas Hedlund and Mattias Markund have delivered the same blend of black metal and melodic, prog-laced folk that fans have come to expect from them, and that, my minions, is a very good thing.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Vintersorg's last outing came to us in 2012, scarcely one year after Jordpuls was released. Knowing this, I was hopeful that Naturbål would be hot-on-the-heels of Orkan. Still, two years is nothing to sneeze at in a genre where the likes of Necrophagist and Jari Mäenpää's Wintersun tramp about unpunished, especially when you consider the quality of the material here. Andreas Hedlund and Mattias Markund have delivered the same blend of black metal and melodic, prog-laced folk that fans have come to expect from them, and that, my minions, is a very good thing.

After an obligatory but inoffensive intro, Hedlund belts out a familiar rasp and "Ur aska och sot" erupts into a squall of blast beats and trem-picking that sounds as pissed off as anything I've ever heard out of Vintersorg. In fact, this entire album feels considerably more aggressive than their previous work, with a higher percentage of black metal and more harshness in general. It's even reflected in the more subdued interludes prevalent in Vintersorg's music: while in Jordpuls they were spirited and blithe, here they brim with an almost threatening volatility.

But, shower singers rejoice! - the extra dose of aggression doesn't detract from Andreas Hedlund's mastery over the memorable chorus. His knack for crafting beautiful and unconventional melodies is in full force here, and his phrasing weaves unpredictably over the bouncing riffs. Take notice, because albums that will satisfy your fiery metal heart while still being catchy enough for your imaginary girlfriend don't come around very often. I've been singing "Överallt och ingenstans" in broken Swedish for days, and "Lågornas rov's" endearing quirk reminds of the excellent chorus in Jordpuls' "Klippor och skår."

"En blixt från klar himmel" almost lost me but eventually managed to reclaim my attention with Enslaved-flavored riffing under harmonic, Viking-like chants. In sections like this, the prog abides, but followers of the band won't be surprised to hear that Hedlund is continuing his recent trend of dialing down the progressive influence in favor of a more traditional sound, which means plenty of folk for all you kilt-clad tankard-raisers out there. Parts of "Elddraken" even have a bit of a Baltic gypsy vibe reminiscent of TrollfesT.

As great as this record is, there are a few minor missteps which the hardened music critics and/or chronic bellyachers among you are likely to notice. Apparently a certain Simon Lundström is responsible for contributing bass guitar this time around. I say apparently because if I hadn't read it with my own two charming eyes, I wouldn't have believed that he showed up to the studio at all - I can't hear a damn thing he supposedly did in there. I'm aware that requesting audible bass when black metal is involved is a fruitless endeavor, but it never seemed to be a problem for Vintersorg until now and I miss it dearly. Some of you will also be sure to notice that Naturbål, like all of Vintersorg's work, is a perilous concoction of busy and loud. Audiophiles, be ye warned!

I've heard some additional complaints from the endless herd of bovid populating the internet that Jordpuls, Orkan, and now Naturbål (based on Earth, Air, and Fire respectively), don't sound any different from one another. To you I say - thou art dorks. If you can't hear the jovial nature of Nature in Jordpuls, then you obviously don't know what an earthpulse is and should read a book for once in your life. If the windswept melodies of Orkan don't conjure up lucid visions of gale and gust, then you've never left the drab cave in which you were so unfortunately born. From the frantic intensity of "Ur aska och sot" to the soft glow of "Själ i flamma," Naturbål bleeds Fire, and bleeds it well. If you need more Fire than that, go jump in a furnace.

Originally posted at burningsteeldragonbrotherhood.blogspot.com


user ratings (15)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
MstrlrdSteelDragon
July 6th 2014



5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is my first review of all time. Go easy on me, mortals!

demon of surveillance
July 6th 2014



817 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I haven't listened to their discog extensively but I was really impressed with the song they made the video for. Pretty much sounds like Enslaved with lots of folk influence.

Digging: Anaal Nathrakh - In the Constellation of the Black Widow

MstrlrdSteelDragon
July 7th 2014



5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm glad you ended up liking it. 4.0 ain't too shabby.

demon of surveillance
July 7th 2014



817 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'll definitely have to give it a much more thorough listen but yeah, it's good. I highly recommend the band Voluspaa if you love Vintersorg, they've only released one album but it's very good.

MstrlrdSteelDragon
July 7th 2014



5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'll have to check that out tomorrow then. Thanks for the referral!

DungeonBoy
July 8th 2014



117 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I really enjoyed your review and am digging this album. My favorite of the 3 is still Jordpuls but that might change..

MstrlrdSteelDragon
July 8th 2014



5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I appreciate your kind words, DungeonBoy BUT WHO TOLD YOU THAT YOU COULD LEAVE THE DUNGEON?

yourgodisinferior
July 9th 2014



803 Comments


gotta check this out

osmark86
July 14th 2014



3944 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

gonna give this one a go

Digging: Schammasch - Contradiction

yourgodisinferior
July 15th 2014



803 Comments


how was it? I never got around to it and am too lazy right now

osmark86
July 15th 2014



3944 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

haven't gotten there yet. still jamming the latest Zgard album. got this lined up next though.

osmark86
July 15th 2014



3944 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

ugh, this sounds way too poppy for me so far. even contains "woah ohs" and clean sung catchy
choruses...



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