Vintersorg- Naturbål Review
By: Benjie Stewart
I must admit I have not paid much attention to Vintersorg over the years. Was it the 3rd wave Black Metal that took over my interest? Or the rise of NWOAHM? Or did I just find Borknagar sounded better? I am a stubborn sumbitch when I want to be but maybe I should have kept up with what Vintersorg was doing all this time! I didn't even know they were working on, or even putting a new album out. The last Vintersorg album I remember listening to was 2000's Cosmic Genesis. Everything after that I have not even taken a second glance at. Well, here is the new Vintersorg album Naturbål which translates to "Nature's Bonfire".
Opening this album up is "Ur aska och sot". Right off the bat is the old school 90’s black metal feel; the aggression, the vocals are right front center, but not overpowering, and when the clean vocals come in there is serenity. Vintersorg did all the vocals, guitars (acoustic, lead, rhythm), bass, keyboards, programming, and Mattias Marklund did the lead and rhythm guitars. This has been the same line-up since 2000. Marklund has another band called Otyg, which Vintersorg has done vocals for, but also has done vocals for Borknagar and vocals and bass for Cronian. That is some resume! It seems though that his solo stuff is in the shadows. The atmosphere on Naturbål is to one be heard. On the 8th track, "Urdarmåne" this is captured so well. There are some female vocals mixed in "Rymdens brinnande öar" but I have no clue who performs them on the record. Maybe a Vinter secret for Vinter winter? For what it is worth, I do feel the album drags on a bit too long, as most songs range from seven to five minutes. The album artwork is lacking. It is very bland when compared to other Vintersorg album covers. The album is very well produced, very clear and crisp- icy you could even say, and for me that is enough.
Overall this is a solid album. I don't think any fan would be disappointed, but if you wanted something different, grim and evil, or suicidal and depressing, stick with your Xasthur and Lifelover records and tapes. The new album is some great black metal with progressive folk elements that’s worth a listen.