Vintersorg - Solens Rotter
Napalm Records
Progressive Extreme Metal with Folk Spirit
10 songs (52'53")
Release year: 2007
Vintersorg, Napalm Records
Reviewed by Alex

I have always held Vintersorg, regardless how many members the band counted at the time, in highest regard as one of the bands I had an immediate inner liking to, but never could completely comprehend. Consider the above statement an oxymoron, but it is impossible not to respect Andreas Hedlund & Co. for their ability to be so inwardly honest with themselves, yet so outwardly expressive at the same time. Not to mention his/their incredibly incessant drive to never repeat themselves. It is clear that Vintersorg is not writing extreme music to make money off of it, to impress the girls or lead rock’n’roll lifestyle, or to defy whatever religious denomination. For Vintersorg the music is art, the one intrinsically connected to both Scandinavian locale and transcending to the whole of Earth and Universe in general. Besides, name me other metal musicians who like science, mathematics, physics and astronomy in particular. I can honestly say that the conversation with Andreas Hedlund would be the one I openly seek.

For my, perhaps simplistic, mind Vintersorg’s best album is still Cosmic Genesis as astral, arcane, folk and black metal have met at the summit. Vintersorg, not being held back by the likes of mine, the fans who would want him to explore further the marriage between folk and extreme metal, however, proceeded to create two very proggy, technically complex, yet cold and very inaccessible albums after Cosmic Genesis. Thus it was extremely pleasing for these ears to hear Vintersorg going back to its origins while discussing the Roots of the Sun, i.e. Solens Rotter. Compositions like Dopt I En Jokelsjo, Perfektionisten and Spirar och Gror blend progressive, folk and extreme in one beautiful super-multilayered package. Bonus points are Vintersorg’s classy clean vocals, often overdubbed as poetic choruses (Dopt I En Jokelsjo), or him singing practically a capello in front of the folk instrument orchestra (Spirar och Gror). On many a song on Solens Rotter Vintersorg also uncorks his blackish voice, awakening the primal bear in the middle of Kosmosaik, croaking like a raven in Idetemplet, perhaps the blackest metal song on the album, or vomiting out some words at the beginning of Fran Materia Till Ande. The extreme vocal forays, however, are quite measured and never overbearing.

It would not be nowadays Vintersorg, however, if the musical web lacked complexity. Gone forever are the days of streamlined melodies, and in are the twisted webs of Naturens Mystar and Kosmosaik. The latter weaves a complex maze of acoustic guitar, violin and intricate drumming, before receiving a muscular guitar boost. Stralar is this album’s ballad, fingers on the acoustic guitar strings are almost physically perceived. The most out there is the closer instrumental Vad Aftonvindens Andning Viskar, combining folk flute melody and snappy jazzy bass with no less breakneck drumming.

For one, Solens Rotter is still a lot more straightforward album than Visions from the Spiral Generator or The Focusing Blur, although its arrangements are incredibly involved and complex, several compositions are proceeding in separate directions on just about every track. Yet in all of its complexity Solens Rotter never loses its soothing welcoming touch, almost inviting the listener to come and sample it again and again, until the connection is made. There is no easy immediacy in this album, and it still makes you think, but there is definite enlightening at the end of this tunnel. Definite folk touches throughout the progressive syncopation and Swedish lyrics, so grounded and so fitting Vintersorg’s voice, are the pieces the previous two albums severely lacked.

Refusing to be pigeonholed by my narrow tastes, Vintersorg is still striving to branch outside of the no-limits envelope he has chosen for himself. But with Solens Rotter the beckoning of the past was not only attractive for the past’s sake, it also helped him to get his groove back.

Killing Songs :
Dopt I En Jokelsjo, Spirar och Gror, Stralar
Alex quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Vintersorg that we have reviewed:
Vintersorg - Till Fjalls, del II reviewed by Alex and quoted 90 / 100
Vintersorg - Naturbål reviewed by Alex and quoted 93 / 100
Vintersorg - Orkan reviewed by Alex and quoted 86 / 100
Vintersorg - Jordpuls reviewed by Tony and quoted 93 / 100
Vintersorg - The Focusing Blur reviewed by Jeff and quoted 86 / 100
To see all 8 reviews click here
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