For you see, the artist was Vintersorg and the album was "Ödemarkens Son" and that started a lifelong worship of everything Andreas "Vintersorg" Hedlund has done. Sure, I haven't liked everything he's done as much as Vintersorg (with perhaps the exception of Otyg) but from Cronian to Waterclime, there's always been a certain quality-stamp that I can't deny. If you haven't heard this incredible band before, it is kind of hard to explain. In the beginning, Vintersorg was a metal band that mixed black- and heavy metal with folk-influences, hence why many people refer to this as viking metal or pagan metal. Later on, the band ventured into a more progressive metal field, without loosing it's identity. But enough talk about the past, let's revisit it right now!
Before I dive further into the classic debut album "Till Fjälls" from 1998 - be sure to check out the EP "Hedniskhjärtad", released in the same year. If you like the music on this album, you'll be sure to enjoy the EP as well.
On the downside, the music is left suffering due to the poor production and the somewhat dissatisfying drum-programming. If you can look past this - you have one hell of a song to enjoy.
The year after, Mr. V released the album that I talked about in the beginning. "Ödemarkens Son" is superior in production and instrumentation and on the same level of incredible songwriting as "Till Fjälls".
During the year of the new millennium, the first major changes in the Vintersorg-camp took place. The one-man project became a duo when Mattias Marklund joined Hedlund on guitars. And many of the lyrics came in English instead of Swedish. On "Cosmic Genesis", the keyboards play a larger role.
On "Visions from the Spiral Generator", the duo brought in the bass-wizard Steve DiGiorgio (known from Death and Sadus amongst others) and the equally amazing drummer Asgeir Mickelson (ex-Borknagar) and the result is the most technical and progressive work from the band up to that date. Which was 2002 by the way.
On "Visions...", Hedlund have used the English language for 6 of the songs and the remaining 3 are in Swedish. I choose the Swedish "Universums Dunkla Alfabet" since it is a fast-paced song with less progressiveness than some of the other songs on the album. This is more a "rocker" - if I am allowed to use that word - than most of the other songs here. It does contain a few time-changes here and there and becomes a bit more "weird" towards the end, but the almost evil-sounding verses and the wonderful chorus - which is made for singalong - is what I truly love about this song.
2004 was the year when the band released "The Focusing Blur" - which today still remains the only V-album where all the lyrics are written in English. For me personally, this is among the weakest albums the band has ever done, but it is still a very good album nevertheless. If you are into weird changes in music and heaps o' progressiveness, then this album might be for you. Steve and Asgeir are still hired hands on this album and the band has also added Lars Nedland (Borknagar and Solefald) for some spoken monologues and hammond on this very track.
Mr. Hedlund kept things quiet in the Vintersorg-camp for a few years and returned in 2007 with "Solens Rötter", which was a combination of the older, more-nature based albums and the two latest more progressive works. This is also not one of my favourite V-albums since it feels quite unfocused at some points and lacks some of the "grandeur" that most of the earlier albums had. Still, not a bad album of course.
An ever longer break then came in the V-camp but by the time we wrote 2011 in our calendars, the return was mightier and better than ever before. "Jordpuls" is a solid nod towards old classics such as "Till Fjälls" and "Ödemarkens Son" - without sounding remotely like any of those. It is an album that can stand on it's own and perhaps the most fresh-sounding albums the band has ever done.
I barely had a chance to catch my breath with "Jordpuls" until Vintersorg announced it's follow-up "Orkan" this very year (2012). In short words, it is a continuation of the previous release - just with new amazing songs done just the way I like it.
|Vintersorg 2012: Hedlund & Marklund|
1. "Ödemarkens Son"
3. "Cosmic Genesis"
5. "Till Fjälls"
6. "Visions from the Spiral Generator"
7. "Solens Rötter"
8. "The Focusing Blur"