|Review: Vintersorg - Visions From The Spiral Generator|
|Visions From The Spiral Generator|
Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2002
Genre: Progressive Metal
Review online: March 4, 2006
Reviewed by: Chaossphere
for:Visions From The Spiral Generator
Rated 3.33/5 (66.67%) (3 Votes)
It seems this album is regarded as the black sheep of Vintersorg's repertoire, and with good reason. Compared to the previous albums, which were all very immediate and powerful, this one takes a good few spins to truly sink in. Rather than driving the songs with infectious folk-metal melodies and powerful percussion, Visions.. builds an atmosphere around a more progressive base, a more sparse approach to rhythm and a lot of dizzying, strange moments. The production is also a lot more open and less dense than previously, while Vintersorg's vocals often occupy a much higher register than before - rather than bellowing forth the lyrics in a deep baritone/bass style, he sings much clearer, sometimes approaching a near-falsetto.
All this aside, it's a damn good album. After the brief intro track, the second track "Vern Styr Symmetrin?" starts out with a traditional burst of aggressive metal riffing before settling into a clean chorus with some spacey noodling guitar lines. The weirdness really sets in with "A Metaphysical Drama", with its bizarre chorus and loping, prog-rock riffing. The absolute highlights, though, is the 7-minute opus "The Explorer", which has a truly massive chorus filled with excellent vocal hooks, a pulverizing verse riff and some highly odd keyboards. Of course, it's followed by the weirdest track on the album, "A Star-Guarded Coronation", which builds from a very 70's-inspired clean strumming riff overlaid with crooned vocals, odd synth loops and a jazzy drum approach - a very strange sounding start, but then it builds to a crescendo with the chorus line that'll stick in your head for days, which is followed immediately by an excellent solo before reverting to pure mellow rock sounds. It's pretty much a ballad, but nothing like previous mellow moments such as "The Enigmatic Spirit".
Of course, there are more typical tracks here too, particularly "Universams Dunkla Alfabet" and the brief, heavy closing track "Trance Locator", which would've fit easily on Odemarkens Son or Cosmic Genesis. It seems when this album first came out, a lot of fans were highly disappointed, but rather than the heady ale of the older discs, this one is more of a fine wine - opened immediately, it just takes weird, but age and time are necessary to fully reveal its flavours and naunces. Highly recommended for progressive-minded metal fans with the patience to fully explore and allow the album to sink in. It's very much worth the effort.
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