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Review: Vintersorg - The Focusing Blur
The Focusing Blur

Label: Napalm Records
Year released: 2004
Duration: 53:50
Tracks: 12
Genre: Progressive Metal

Rating: 2.75/5

Review online: September 13, 2019
Reviewed by: Mjölnir
Readers Rating
The Focusing Blur

Rated 2.8/5 (56%) (5 Votes)

Vintersorg have been around for over 20 years at this point, but this is my first exposure to their offbeat brand of folky Progressive Metal, and it may have been a poor place to start, as this isn't all that impressive. They certainly create an individual sound, but only by virtue of throwing so much paint at the wall that it becomes difficult to understand what the hell they're going on about. You get heavy, sometimes Therion-esque guitar work, pleasant folky acoustic passages, and some fine clean singing, but it's all often bogged down by jerky arrangements, painfully obvious drum machines, and compositions overloaded with keyboards and faux orchestrations, making the album go by in an unfocused blur. Main man Vintersorg has a fine mid-range, but he tends to sound strained when going for high notes, and he keeps mixing in everything from decent harsh vocals that only occasionally serve as proper counterpoint to laughable narration that spouts pseudo-scientific/philosophical nonsense to some awful choirs and baffling squawking noises I can only guess are a failed attempt at falsetto. There's plenty of ambition and ideas going on, and sometimes they make something interesting, but never long enough to really grab me. It's telling that of all the songs on here, the only one I remember after repeated listens is the lame ballad "A Microscopical Macrocosm", which basically sounds like a song you'd hear on an educational video a 3rd-grade science teacher would put on while recovering from a hangover that his students just lackadaisically flick boogers at the whole time. Come to think of it, that serves as a pretty good metaphor for the album overall. Intermittently interesting, but not terribly compelling for all that.

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