Sticking with the Swedish theme, I saw that Vintersorg, a band I’m always curious to hear what’s new with, are releasing a new album and “sequel” to their very first album Till fjalls appropriately titled Till fjalls, del II, so I though it appropriate to revisit the first album, as it’s been a while, and in preparation for the new follow up, damn near 20 years later.
First of all, if you don’t know Vintersorg you may know him from his vocal duties with Borknagar, which he’s provided since 2001’s Empiricism, adding his folkish, traditional and shrieking howls to Borknagar’s already impressing lineup of singers. I like his involvement with Borknagar but I digress. Prior to that he started his own band, which is a highly folk, nature influenced black metal band, and he’s been doing that, I think, successfully for the past twenty years. Vintersorg consistently put out albums every couple of years, and the theme has maintained true to this original album the whole time.
On Till fjalls, Vintersorg composed the album almost entirely by himself with help on drum programming. Yes, there are programmed drums, but I don’t think it detracts from the album because it’s so heavily guitar and atmospheric soundscape heavy, it works well together. Vintersorg’s vocals soar in the mix and he’s the master at going from those pagan-ish clean vocal parts to the harsher black metal. It’s especially captivating when put up against those operatic female vocals on the track “Isjungfrun.” That track is also a good example of the over all feel of this album. More weight is put on the folk metal side as opposed to the black metal, which does flavor it, more heavily at some times, but to call this a pure black metal album would not be accurate.
Vintersorg mixes these elements well and at a time when it wasn’t as prevalent or as worn out. I’ve always been a big fan of what Vintersorg is up to, no matter what and I think this is a classic in the black/folk metal landscape. He may be making the same album over and over again but it works every fucking time and I’ll be looking forward to the new one.