Review Summary: Vintersorg musically transmits the element of air in a way that it really feels like you’re floating along the wind....
The element of “Air“ is an odd concept, especially coming from a metal band. Sweden’s Vintersorg decided to take the challenge. Orkan
is the second release from Vintersorg’s planned “Quadrology“, a 4 part epic that is supposed to convert and transmit the basic natural elements into an interesting musical voyage. Just as last year’s pulse of the earth (Jordpuls
), air is always captivating and fresh... This is due to the fact that Mr. V always touches on different aspects that eventually leaded to the band’s new sound and (on Orkan
) he fuses them to create his most concise and balanced album yet.
The lyrical composition is once again on Swedish, for me that manages to capture the ethnic nectar and spirit of this type of music. All around the production shines on this thing; the orchestral arrangements sound as natural as ever, the flutes are "there"while ever present, they neve drown out or overpower the impressive guitar work or ruin the vocals. The Hammond organ is revolving around providing a silly or nice beginning to certain songs but it also plays a vital role in the development of the album’s atmosphere. The rhythm and lead guitars come to life by Mattias Marklund & Mr. V himself, giving us some virtuostic solos here and there yet also alternating picking with Mattias on the more “black metal” tremolo sections which reminds of 1998’s Till Fjalls
. Varied folkloric instruments approach the music on some parts of Orkan
serving as great tools for beautiful experimental interludes.
is compromised of 8 pieces and clocking at fifty minutes it is one of Vintersorg’s longest material written to date, the average song length is from six to seven minutes, Mr. V not wastes a single minute though. Opening with Istid, vivid ideas hit you like the beautiful waves on Orkan's
album cover. Istid is one of the best songs, Vintersorg Swede accented unique voice is accompanied by walls of tremolo picking and blast beats but ironically some moments later when the screams/shrieks come in the drumming is based upon simple fills backed-up by Mattias tasty power riffing. The orchestral arrangements move on the background accentuating the magical folk that goes on while a flute enchants the air. Air will not have such an impact without taking in count Vintersorg evolution as a band; the LP is plagued with the old fashioned brilliance of the past and modern perfection of the present. The blast beats of Till Fjalls
, the prog from Cosmic Genesis
or the avant-garde of Visions from the Spiral Generator
whereas the mixture of both on Solens Rötter
. The light-weight easy listening and earthly symphonies of Jordpuls
; without them Orkan
would not have been such a pleasant listen.
Another track to mention is Myren. The song opens with the Hammond organ that is suddenly accompanied by a violin before the song explodes into epic proportions, it is a dark song that cloaks the listener with brutal riffs and epic melodies but later becomes just mysterious and experimental, by the interlude you hear guitar improvisation that is enchanted by a Pink Floyd-esque tuning. Tracks like these could be just “good” songs but they become exceptional tunes thanks to tiny details and intricate experimentation. Having said that, Vintersorg is influenced by a huge number of acts; this is quite obvious but important because without those influences they would not be “unique” and “interesting”. Orkan‘s
music is truly the catharsis and perfect representation of its splendid and gorgeous album artwork. A storm sweeping across the landscapes, a tsunami accompanied by lightning clouds… A hurricane containing exceptional sonic art. Vintersorg musically transmits the element of air in a way that it really feels like you’re floating along the wind. Air approaches the listener and immerses him in a magnificent experience.
For sure a band can travel many roads over the curse of their careers but not so many groups have the remarkable ability to maintain the essence that made them so good at the beginning; Vintersorg is a good example, they clearly have experienced a lot whether experimenting with the progressive leanings of Borknagar or challenging the barriers of contemporary music with Arcturus, Andreas Hedlund has traveled all the roads and they leaded here, Orkan
is a musical accomplishment on many levels and rather than giving up I’m sure Mr. V will look forward for more perfectionism and establishing new musical goals on the future… who knows what waits for him. Orkan
is a beautiful album plagued with different experiments and recollections from Vintersorg’s vast musical endeavors, it gets beneficed by all the past works and enlightened by the new ideas. What else could you ask for, more than only music, this is pure ethnic art; Orkan
is supposed to be the musical embodiment of air and well… It is a cloud of refreshing air that you should truly breath, enjoy & immerse yourself into.