Every once in a while we need a good authentic Scandinavian sound. They just hit everything in such a perfect way that it’s hard to fathom. Sometimes things that doesn’t usually work will be golden in the hands of a Scandinavian Metal Viking. The Viking or Folk Metal of Vintersorg, combining aspects of Black Metal and Progressive Metal into the mix for good measure, is a good example of this. Heralding from the depths of Sweden and being a band from 1998, they’re the type of band to discover – they were always in the background. One could easily draw comparisons to Borknagar, Wintersun, Stormlord or Thy Serpent – but I’m not doing them justice.
The latest album, Till Fjälls del II, is Metal magic and a sequel to their ground-breaking album Till Fjälls. They give us a rough buzz-saw guitar line that seems subtle with the formed melodies and chanting style vocals. The vocal work varies from the snarls and growls of Black Metal through to the pure folk which works only in the way a Viking can. ‘Jökelväktaren’ is a good example of this, through all the speed and brutality subtly flowing through you like a river, the vocals are really want calls you out. Extreme Metal at it’s extremely melodic the album keeps a clear distinct variation to it. There’s a clear fantasy at work here. Hitting home like a far cry to battle. ‘Fjällets mäktiga mur’ bears this banner, it’s almost sentimental in its construction.
The best songs on the album are not far from the rest, they are only just a bit more notable. Other than those already mentioned ‘Obygdens pionjär’ and ‘Vårflod’ boast some of the best vocal work on the album. Giving us some wonderfully memorable lines. Whilst songs like ‘Vinterstorm’ and ‘Allt mellan himmel och jord’ show, in its own subtle way, how powerful the subtleties of the instruments can be. It really is like a melodic chaos perfectly formed.
The album is in two parts, or at least two discs and the second disk isn’t much different than the first. It holds much of the same strengths, which culminate in the song ‘Köldens Borg’. Whilst the disk ender, and album ender, ‘Svart Måne’ is a thing of pure gentle beauty. An atmospheric end to a great album and a much needed pause from the melodic chaos of the rest of the album. It ties the album up so well.
A wonderful release by the Swedish duo. If only it could make more of its mark instantly and consistently. It pushes what it can to ensure that almost all songs make it there but I fear that it may be an album that is criminally overlooked. Sitting well within Extreme Folk Metal and many Black Metal or even Extreme Metal circles in general. It could hold the best of them to a lot of other Metal too but is a lot less likely to be tried – they’d miss out.