Archive for Vintersorg

Vintersorg: Till Fjälls Del II – A Worthy Sequel?

Posted in Best / Worst, Blog, Music, Reviews with tags on June 30, 2017 by slateman

The way I figure it, Vintersorg has gone through three phases. First, you had the original, folk-inspired, awesome, initial era. This was
followed by the progressive, non-Swedish and in retrospect, rather brief, second phase. I lost a lot of interest at this point. However, 2007’s Solens Rötter was a return to form that was all but perfected in the next releases. Jordpuls was brilliant and Orkan was 2012’s Album of the Year. Naturbål was no slouch, but perhaps more of the same wasn’t quite enough.

And while each release was solid and spectacular, I can see why something needed to change. So when it was announced that album #10 would be titled Till Fjälls: Del II, it piqued my interest greatly. But it also made me wonder. C’mon, how many bands can truly put out a sequel to something as awesome Till Fjälls? Can anything really live up to the first two LPs?

With a few spins under my belt, the answer simply is, “no.” Part II is on par with Naturbål and Jordpuls, but it’s no Orkan and it certainly isn’t in the same league as Vintersorg’s first few releases. Mathematically, it is sound. It is exactly what I would hope for. But it is not as rooted in the folky tradition. It is not nearly as catchy. There’s nothing as hum-worthy as För Kung Och Fosterland or the title track. Actually, Tillbaka Till Källorna is perpetually stuck in my mind these last few days. Additionally, the mix is questionable. Drums are awfully low, particularly bass drums, which is really quite strange.

In fact, the biggest downside of this album is its name. Just giving us the fourth and final entry into the earthly elements series would have been just fine. But that damn Till Fjälls name just gave me a sense of expectation that was almost impossible to live up to. (Edit: But with each subsequent listen, it grows on me.)

A side bonus is that I understand some of the lyrics and song titles now, with a little Swedish vocabulary.

Mini-Reviews: Vintersorg – Jordpuls/Orkan

Posted in Best / Worst, Music, Reviews with tags on November 30, 2012 by slateman

The last time this happened to me was way back with Blind Guardian’s Imaginations From The Other Side. I’d put the record on and consider it a good album, nothing more. Then, a subsequent spin would leave me much more impressed. This would continue until I absolutely loved the record. The sad thing is; it would reset every time I stopped.

So, while I was a huge fan of Vintersorg’s first three releases, I lost interest when Cosmic Genesis came out. Now, I quite like it, but then I was disappointed. The next two albums were not really my thing and the following one was a step in the right direction. Next would be Jordpuls (Pulse of the Earth) and again, I liked the 2011 version of Vintersorg but I never found myself putting it on. Until now, that is.

Several months after Jordpuls’ successor came out, I went back to this album and have been loving it ever since. I can’t say it hearkens back to the excellence of Ödemarkens Son but it’s new, fresh and phenomenal. Bouncing between the folk influence to the wonderful raspy vocals, I loved hearing his trademark vocal style, catchy riffs and having that familiar Vintersorg sound.

A year after Jordpuls we were treated to Orkan (Hurricane). Again, this took a few months to warm up to, but now, almost half a year later, I cannot stop listening to it!!! It’s got everything Jordpuls did but with catchier riffs, more memorable melodies and choruses. The vocals are powerful, the mix is spectacular and it’s one of those records where when it ends, I want to put it back on again. I cannot find a single weak point on the record. It’s excellent through-and-through.

Now, I’d already talked about Borknagar’s Urd and with it being a bit of a weak year, that may have been my Album Of The Year until I started up with Orkan. If not, Vintersorg himself may be on two of my top albums of the year, something that has never happened before. Ultimately, I’m loving these two Vintersorg records, something my profile can verify! I haven’t listened to this much of the band since 2001. And to think…there are two more records of this planned four-album concept to come!