Rating:
8.6
Vintersorg - Naturbål
27 June 2014


01. Ur Aska Och Sot
02. Överallt Och Ingenstans
03. En Blixt Från Klar Himmel
04. Lågornas Rov
05. Rymdens Brinnande Öar
06. Natten Visste Vad Skymningen Såg
07. Elddraken
08. Urdarmåne
09. Själ I Flamma


That Vintersorg continues to excel in song writing on Naturbål will come as no surprise to fans. If you enjoy melodic metal in any shape or form, what you'll find here is the latest release from what used to be one of folk metal's most progressive and boundary defying endeavours, and is now master of melody.

Andreas "Vintersorg" Hedlund's skill and creativity at his craft has been ably demonstrated over the course of the past few albums. The elementally themed efforts Jordpuls and Orkan took a noticeably clear direction in style, fixating folk metal in neoclassical inspired symphony and reemphasising the black metal element, a harkening to the early days of the late 1990's releases. How the fire themed Naturbål (or "Nature's Bonfire") continues this, and rises above previous efforts most clearly is its quality of sound and excellent production, simply their best yet in this regard and something hinted at in the well mixed Orkan. But nothing of this calibre could have been predicted, as this album's guitar lines reverberate within the symphonic focus more-so than ever before.

Vocal work has increasingly matured, Hedlund's own voice reaching a personal high point in terms of quality and clarity of delivery. His distinctive control over the Swedish tongue continues to be a rich component to the music, strongly tying the metal with a folk identification. The harsh and clean exchange continues to voice the mainstay of the black and folk metal directional style. Additional feminine work on tracks such as "Rymdens Brinnande Öar" adds an unforeseen and fresh element to the style, and works well considering the heightened symphonic tendencies on display. The vocal arrangements, particularly the cleans, as a whole are also made a focal point, and much attention has evidently been given to working the melodic song structures around some of the most captivating chorus lines within the discography.

Drum work hasn't really been a particular strength of Vintersorg's, but here the rhythms are perpetuated with satisfying density thanks to the superb mixing, granting the album a heavier sound overall. Given the theme of Naturbål it's only natural to expect something which strikes more of a blaze, and to this Hedlund and Marklund have well amounted as their combined guitar work creates the central and necessary edge within the mass presence of the symphonic element.

The honing of Vintersorg's melodic sensibilities take pride of place across the elementally themed releases of recent years, the third instalment Naturbål representing a peak but not a conclusion to all the strengths amassed so far. We have the promise of another final element, that of water, and it's anyone's guess as to how things will pan out on this forthcoming album as Vintersorg moves from strength to strength.

The fiery theme of this new effort certainly equates to a continuation of Vintersorg's creative spark and is another high quality addition to the discography.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 10


Band profile: Vintersorg
Album: Naturbål


 



Written on 02.07.2014 by
R'Vannith
R'Vannith enjoys music, he's hoping you do too.
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bddidier - 02.07.2014 at 23:30  
Good review, it is exactly as I feel with this album, one of my favourite Vintersorg so far.
MetalDoomMaster - 03.07.2014 at 05:13  
Excellent review, I was thinking about giving this another try, and you just succeeded in persuading me.
Ag Fox - 04.07.2014 at 18:01  
Wow, I'm excited to listen to this now after reading your review. Nice one
R'Vannith - 04.07.2014 at 18:06  
Thanks folks, hope you all enjoy (and continue to do so). The replay value to this has me completely hooked, but that's something that can be said for many of Vintersorg's albums from my point of view. Such a great band.

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