Cronian - Terra review
|Release date:||March 2006|
01. Diode Earth
02. Arctic Fever
06. The Alp
09. End(durance) - Part I
Mr. V is a tireless man. Every year through the last decade we were presented with two or three albums containing not only his name, but a distinguished participation in performance and production. Which means, at least once a year we can count that the name Andreas "Vintersorg" Hedlund will be wrote on the credits of some newly released album, whatever belonging to some of his regular bands (Vintersorg, Borknagar), or one of his huge list of side-projects.
Cronian belongs to that list; it was Mr. V's partnership with Øystein Garnes Brun, that yield two full-lenghts, but received few (almost none) recognition. A huge disappointment considering the names involved, but quite understandable considering the quality of the project's debut. Their attempt with Terra was not much different from what Borknagar and Vintersorg present us repeatedly: a Progressive/Black Metal act, merging melody and brutality, complex lyrical content, and original thematic.
When I write "original thematic" I mean very original thematic, simply the most perfect tribute to the Arctic regions of the planet. The music, the cover art and the lyrics are focused on the sorrow, solitude and horror caused by the inhospitable landscapes of Earth's poles. A fantastic narrative, from who appears to be a man lost in the glacial desert, amazed by the presence of life in such environment, ending with a quote from Robert Falcon Scott, an English explorer who died in an expedition among the Antarctica by the early 20th century. Of course, existentialism, metaphysics, and supernatural elements are present, a mark never denied by Mr. V, independently of the project.
Conducted by both members, the programming of ambient sounds represents a foundation holding the structure of Terra, being responsible for the album's serene atmosphere and increasing the Progressive feeling (which makes the Black Metal moments less memorable). This aspect, along with Øystein decent guitar work, that abuses of dreary melodies, and Mr. V's clean vocals, are the very best that the album has to present. Unfortunately, the same Mr. V who shows unquestionable talent with the clean voice is indebted when the case is growl. As always, his growls are low tuned, which already demonstrates an incapacity of actually screaming out loud (not exactly fresh news, as he presents the same difficulty on previous works like Empiricism and also on concerts), and that affects whole album in a negative way. To complete, the songs composed mainly by Øystein ("Diode Earth," "Nonexistence") are the most enjoyable and well-structured.
In other words, if someone is responsible for screwing this album, this one is Mr. V. Not that his growls make this album horrible, but they are annoying as usual and could be a lot better. The other aspects vary from average to good moments, occasionally reaching a wonderful climax, but not enough to consider unfair the indifference that Terra is treated with.
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