VINTERSORG
"Jordpuls"

(Napalm)

01. Världsalltets Fanfar
02. Klippor Och Skär
03. Till Dånet Av Forsar Och Fall
04. Mörk Nebulosa
05. Stjärndyrkan
06. Skogen Sover
07. Vindögat
08. Palissader
09. Eld Och Lågor

RATING: 8/10

If you can get the chorus from "Världsalltets Fanfar" out of your head, then please communicate your methods, as it is yet another example of VINTERSORG's ability to infect with melody. It matters not if your native tongue is English, as the Swedish-sung lyrics do nothing to prevent the hooks from sinking in deep. Far from ending there, on new album "Jordpuls" VINTERSORG keeps the folk/prog metal hits coming with that same knack for the tuneful and skill at constructing its patented, folk-rooted genre blends.

Versatile vocalist (and multi-instrumentalist) Andreas "Vintersorg" Hedlund (BORKNAGAR) is at the top of his game on "Jordpuls". He weaves without seam his scintillating and inflectionally shifting cleans, black metal harshness, and growl punctuations through nine beautifully arranged tracks that are equally diverse. The moods move from folk serenity ("Eld Och Lågor") to black metal ferocity ("Mörk Nebulosa"), though linearity in style is a rarity here, as peaks and troughs, and ebbs and flows, are integral to the VINTERSORG approach. Folk may be the basis, but the music is rich in dynamics, as songs like the previously noted "Världsalltets Fanfar" can at once shock with aggression and awe with beauty. Tracks with a more eclectic bent, such as "Palissader", derive their charisma in large part from creative keyboard arrangements, whether through the painting of mental pictures showing nature's inherent pristineness or man's destructive proclivities. That "Jordpuls" can sound both modern and ancient attests to the creative power of VINTERSORG.

The key to any VINTERSORG album — and "Jordpuls" is not an exception — is to invest the time necessary to absorb the deep musicality and the philosophical ideas conveyed in the lyrics. It is in those repeat visits where the magic happens. As much as I've praised "Jordpuls" as a complete album, I still can't get that damn chorus from "Världsalltets Fanfar" to dislodge itself from the innards of my skull. Perhaps medical attention is the next best option. Then again, it is an affliction with which I can live in contentment.

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