VINTERSORG

Progressive Metal / Folk Metal / Viking Metal • Sweden
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Vintersorg is a Swedish Folk/Viking/Progressive Metal band formed in 1994 in Skellefteå, Sweden under the name Vargatron (Wolfthrone in English), but was later changed to Vintersorg.

The sound of Vintersorg has vastly changed over the years, as his demo and first three albums, Hedniskhjärtad, Till Fjälls and Ödemarkens Son being folk/viking metal with black metal influence where their more recent albums, Cosmic Genesis, Visions from The Spiral Generator and The Focusing Blur are more progressive and influenced strongly by 60s/70s prog rock. The latest album Solens Rötter took both the folk and progressive sound and mixed it into a more unique style.

The name "Vintersorg" has often confused people in the metal scene due to it being the BAND name and the NICKNAME of the front man and composer, Andreas Hedlund. The actual band Vintersorg consists of Andreas Hedlund and Mattias Marklund, with regular appearances from Jan Erik Torgersen,
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VINTERSORG Discography

VINTERSORG albums / top albums

VINTERSORG Till fjälls album cover 3.67 | 12 ratings
Till fjälls
Viking Metal 1998
VINTERSORG Ödemarkens son album cover 3.70 | 5 ratings
Ödemarkens son
Folk Metal 1999
VINTERSORG Cosmic Genesis album cover 3.84 | 8 ratings
Cosmic Genesis
Progressive Metal 2000
VINTERSORG Visions From the Spiral Generator album cover 4.14 | 7 ratings
Visions From the Spiral Generator
Progressive Metal 2002
VINTERSORG The Focusing Blur album cover 3.40 | 6 ratings
The Focusing Blur
Progressive Metal 2004
VINTERSORG Solens rötter album cover 3.89 | 10 ratings
Solens rötter
Folk Metal 2007
VINTERSORG Jordpuls album cover 2.60 | 12 ratings
Jordpuls
Folk Metal 2011
VINTERSORG Orkan album cover 3.60 | 5 ratings
Orkan
Progressive Metal 2012
VINTERSORG Naturbål album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Naturbål
Progressive Metal 2014
VINTERSORG Till fjälls, del II album cover 3.81 | 4 ratings
Till fjälls, del II
Progressive Metal 2017

VINTERSORG EPs & splits

VINTERSORG Hedniskhjärtad album cover 3.50 | 2 ratings
Hedniskhjärtad
Folk Metal 1998

VINTERSORG live albums

VINTERSORG demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

VINTERSORG re-issues & compilations

VINTERSORG singles (0)

VINTERSORG movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

VINTERSORG Reviews

VINTERSORG Till fjälls, del II

Album · 2017 · Progressive Metal
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Kev Rowland


This is quite a special album in many ways, as it not only looks back to the debut from 1998 both in title and style, but even includes music from before the very first EP. As bandleader Andreas "Vintersorg" Hedlund (vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, programming) says, “To write a sequel to the first Vintersorg “Till Fjälls” album was something that many people wanted me to do after its release. The second album “Ödemakens Son” was in the same direction but still something different. So, throughout the years that same mantra was often mentioned again and again “you need to do another album like Till Fjälls”. As an artist I’ve always followed my heart much more than my mind, so inspiration and passion has taken us on a journey through different atmospheres and different musical spheres. From the very folk- music-drenched metal in the beginning, to more progressive and complex textures and structures. As time passed by I just started to write more folk music oriented music again, just out of that same inspiration and passion. On the last three or four albums, we’ve in a way spiraled back to the starting origin, but with new experiences and a different stronghold to rest our art upon. So, I wrote some music and it came over me that it was somewhat “Till Fjälls del II” (part II) and after that fire was lit in our hearts it was a very easy choice to put it in that perspective. It’s not an attempt to do a classic sequel, much more like a lost twin finds its other half after many years. They’re connected to each other but with different experiences and perspectives. The included EP “Tillbaka till källorna” (Back to the Sources) is an attempt to portray the time before Vintersorg was Vintersorg. The songs are written in that transition period when Vargatron was put to rest and Vintersorg was given life. Still, these songs didn’t make it to the first EP “Hedniskhjärtad” due to different reasons but has survived in the back of my head, and on some worn-out tapes. When we decided to do the part II of “Till Fjälls” it came to me that it would be nice to really do a new take on these songs, trying to keep the basis of them but just put them into the Vintersorg perspective.”

Joining Andreas was Mattias Marklund (guitars), who joined not long after the debut, and Simon Lundström (bass), who has only been there a few years. This is classic folk/Viking metal, with strong riffs and walls of sound, although they do also bring in some black metal influences here and there. The result is an album that is incredibly powerful, and although I would much prefer a ‘live’ drummer (as they use when they gig), even I must admit that the programming has been done well and isn’t too painful to listen to. They remind me more of classic Dimmu Borgir than Amon Amarth, but that isn’t a bad thing in my book, as this just screams class from start to end. That one man is responsible for all the writing and much of the instrumentation is quite something, and by singing everything in Swedish they add some mystique. They can be emotional and ambient, or powerful and in your face, often within the same song, and it is the use of dynamics which really make this album stand out from the rest.

It has been three years since their last release, but it has been time well spent, and this is an album that any metalhead could do well to discover.

VINTERSORG The Focusing Blur

Album · 2004 · Progressive Metal
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Conor Fynes
'The Focusing Blur' - Vintersorg (6/10)

It's usually very interesting to hear a reinvention of a genre, whether its taking the existing sound of the genre in a new direction, or using abnormal means to make the same point. Vintersorg are one such band that have done alot for their style, that being the sort of music most often called 'viking metal'. This genre typically revolves around a narrow band of topics, ranging from Viking mythology, to Viking culture, and giants. Although I have boundless respect for some of the best viking acts- Bathory and Enslaved come to mind- most bands are copycats that try to revive both the glory of their war-torn ancestors, and the artists that made it such a popular trend in metal to begin with. This is largely why Vintersorg stand out, why they have all of the qualities of viking metal, they are not afraid to experiment with trying new things. As promising as that sounds, this has led to a rather uneven career, and their fifth album 'The Focusing Blur' is right evidence of this. Despite having plenty of potential for brilliance, Vintersorg's ambition leads them to create something that feels more scattered than anything, leaving me to wonder what this could have sounded like if things were a little less, err... blurry.

In the style of many viking metal bands, Vintersorg use very clean vocals over the sort of instrumentation that someone might first associate with black metal. There are extreme vocals here, but they are used very sparsely. The vocal duties instead aim for either melodic singing, or theatrical spoken-word dialogue. The singing of Andreas Hedlund is probably the best thing that Vintersorg offers here; as usual, his voice is very strong, and offers the listener plenty of incredibly melodic choruses around every corner. Although incredibly harmonious and well arranged, few of the melodies are all-too memorable, although I will admit that some of the lines here can get pretty catchy after a few listens. As for the spoken- word pieces that are so prevalent on this album, Hedlund warbles on as if he was some philosophically-inclined ringleader, and it does not work quite as well as Vintersorg thinks it does. Usually, these parts pass by as being too heavy on the cheese and even pretentious, especially considering that there are song titles here like 'A Microscopical Macrocosm'. The lyrical content is probably more interesting than typical runes-and-giants fare, but this could have been done so much better.

The keyboards fill in for the folky elements here, and while they might attempt to sound like classical string sections and medieval instruments, but the synths are far too shallow to stand as a valid replacement. The way these folky sections are played sounds very thin, made more of a shame by the fact that the composition itself is very good. 'The Focusing Blur' does not enjoy the same memorable songwriting, but there are parts here where Vintersorg is showing their adventurous spirit, and it's ironically usually shown through the cheesy keyboards. Through the fairly typical melodies, drums and guitar parts, it usually comes as a big surprise to hear them drop a prog rock keyboard solo in the middle of a song. There are even moments- particularly an eerie moment that felt almost plucked out of a circus show- that nearly verge on the avant-garde.

What I envision most for Vintersorg here are two guys with a bunch of musical ideas, throwing them all down in a row, and calling it an album. Admittedly, some of the stuff here is brilliant, but I cannot call 'The Focusing Blur' an excellent album for the fact that for every idea that does work here, there is another that does not fare nearly as well. Put simply, 'The Focusing Blur' needed more focus. Less forward-thinking albums by this band have had a greater impact on me, simply because there was a clearer sense of flow to them.

VINTERSORG Jordpuls

Album · 2011 · Folk Metal
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adg211288
Jordpuls (which means “Pulse of the Earth”) is the seventh full-length album by Swedish band Vintersorg, released in 2011. Vintersorg’s music has covered several styles of metal, being mostly rooted in the extremer side of the genre and with Jordpuls we’re presented with pretty much a progressive metal affair with folk influences. Some of the riffs take on a black metal edge as well.

Like with the previous Vintersorg release Solens rötter the lyrics of Jordpuls are all in the band’s native Swedish. Band frontman Andreas Hedlund (who also uses the stage name of Vintersorg although the actual band is in fact two members) delivers these lyrics with a mix of growled vocals and soaring cleans. Both are pretty fitting to the style of metal on offer on Jordpuls. Hedlund is clearly a talented musician not just as a vocalist, and he handles much of Jordpuls by himself with only the aid of guitarist Mattias Marklund. Vocally he shines but then I never heard the man (who is also involved with many other projects including Borknagar, Cronian and Otyg) deliver a bad performance on that front. But despite a strong vocal, overall I don’t find a lot to write home about with Vintersorg’s 2011 offering.

The problem isn’t that Jordpuls is a bad album, because it certainly isn’t. The problem is that Jordpuls isn’t a good album either. It’s certainly listenable music, but upon its conclusion I’m just left with entirely neutral feelings. It took until the album’s sixth track, Skogen Sover, for me to sit up and really pay attention to it. I did actually enjoy this song a fair bit. It has a somewhat chaotic atmosphere to parts of it which I liked a lot, and the folk inspired sections also worked pretty well within the general progressive structure. But everything that came before and after it just passed me by without striking me as noteworthy with the exception of closing ballad Eld Och Lågor, which was actually a very enjoyable acoustic affair.

There are certainly good ideas in the music, but in general they seem stretched a bit too thinly over the album’s duration. It isn’t an overly long either, lasting about forty-seven minutes, making this an even bigger problem. I also dislike the fact that for something with folk elements the album sounds very fake and manufactured when it comes to thgem, being mostly acoustic guitar or keyboard driven folk melodies as opposed to actual folk instrumentation. Given that Jordpuls is firstmost and foremost a progressive metal album and not full blown folk metal such a thing would have been easier to overlook and could have been put down as using folk melodies rather than trying to actually be folk metal, had those compositions been up to scratch, plus also taking into account that that manufactured feel to the album stretches over into the metal side of things with the use of programmed drums, although to be fair this isn’t noticeable. With the lack of quality songs the falseness of the folk parts stands out all too well and makes Jordpuls seem a very much uninspired affair.

The inclusion of two tracks that stood out as decent, Skogen Sover and Eld Och Lågor, save Jordpuls from total mediocrity but in general the album just leaves me with neither good or bad feelings and is deserving of a score to demonstrate as such. The two good tracks coax a small portion of additional score from me, but not to the point where I’d really consider this album leaving the middle of the road territory to make it into the above average zone. It’s the sort of music that if on I wouldn’t necessarily turn it off, but I wouldn’t be the one pressing play. I guess prior fans of Vintersorg may enjoy this album more than I did, but to me for the most part it sounds fake and directionless and a bitter disappointment to listen to.

(Originally written for Heavy Metal Haven, scoring 5.4/10)

VINTERSORG Jordpuls

Album · 2011 · Folk Metal
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Conor Fynes
'Jordpuls' - Vintersorg (5/10)

Although beginning as a fairly black/folk metal oriented project, Norwegian duo Vintersorg has since tread quite far from the label, instead more recently being quite a bit more melodic and mellow in their music. The seventh album 'Jordpuls' was described to me as an album that takes the band further back to their roots, but still greatly evident is the strong presence of clean vocal harmonies. After a brilliant impression with the previous Vintersorg output 'Solens Rotter', I was quite intrigued to hear what these guys would have to offer now. 'Jordpuls' greatly disappoints me in the sense that it feels like it is a step backwards in virtually every respect for the band, despite the fact that Vintersorg has still maintained some of their strengths here.

There isn't too much of an evident development in Vintersorg's sound on 'Jordpuls'; rather a regression in the pejorative sense. The songwriting feels somewhat dumbed down from the dynamic, melodic and powerful presentation given on the prior album, but 'Jordpuls' does generally pull through. There are still some of the same great black metal guitar riffage here in parts, but the highlight of the sound remains frontman Andreas Hedlund's beautiful clean vocal harmonies, which had me fall in love with 'Solens Rotter' originally, and now do make up an even greater proportion of what there is to like about this album. Despite the shortcomings concerning how memorable the melodies here may actually be, Hedlund still stands strong as being a master of harmony.

Possibly the most disappointing element of 'Jordpuls' is the folk instrumentation, or- in this album's case- programming. From the very beginning, I was immediately put off by the cheap, fake sounds that seemed as if they were trying to emulate such instruments as the violin. Although I am generally appreciative of the fact that many bands do not have the resources to have all of the instruments they would like on their album, there does not feel as if there is an excuse for Vintersorg in this case; albums in the past have heard the folk element sound much less contrived and fake. If this has been an artistic decision on the band's part, it sadly does not work to their benefit, and tends to have me think that this may have been a step backward for the band. On the other hand, the drum machine here is done fairly well; sounding often as if there is a real session drummer behind the kit.

I cannot wholeheartedly recommend 'Jordpuls' as a listen, due to the fact that Vintersorg has disappointed the fan in me with this one. Although it scarcely compares to the last couple of albums they have released, 'Jordpuls' does retain some of the things that had me love the project to begin with, so I'm not left entirely discouraged.

VINTERSORG Solens rötter

Album · 2007 · Folk Metal
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Conor Fynes
'Solens Rötter' - Vintersorg (8/10)

In what can be described as a 'return to their roots,' Vintersorg has arguably created their most consistent album to date. Moving away from the avant-garde leanings of the previous two albums and making a return to the viking folk metal sound the band was founded on, there is still a level of progressive ambition retained that should appease those that found themselves moreso drawn to the stranger-sounding, more recent material. Despite their potential labelling as 'black metal,' 'Solens Rötter' is a deeply melodic journey, and seeks to break Vintersorg out of the genre almost entirely.

The album's strength relies greatly on the strong clean singing abilities of Andreas Hedlund. While there are the typical black metal growls here as well, much of the songwriting is centered around the immense vocal harmonies the man can produce. Meaning 'roots of the sun' in Swedish, 'Solens Rötter' is also the first album in almost a decade that Vintersorg writes completely in their mother tongue. While this may rob the average english-speaking listener of the firsthand abililty to delve into the subject matter being sung at hand, the language is phonetically very well suited for the music, and gives the album an even more Scandanavian vibe to it.

The generally optimistic (yet beautiful) clean singing and polished production gives the music a light feeling overall, despite obvious attempts in places to be 'dark.' As has been said before, Vintersorg gets back in touch with the concept of 'folk metal' here, and the typical metal instruments are mixed in with much more traditional sounds; giving 'Solens Rötter' a very medieval feeling to it. While there is certainly progressiveness to the music here (comparisons to prog death giants Opeth is not unfounded), many of the songs here are generally straightforward in their structure, although each track is very strong. The album certainly opens with one of it's strongest pieces however; 'Döpt I En Jökelsjö.' Through an array of acoustic guitars, black metal growls, rapid fury and finally the great harmonized clean vocal work, the opener is a perfect crash course in everything that a listener can expect from 'Solens Rötter.'

The album's sense of flow isn't particularly great and the sound is generally quite uniform throughout, but 'Solens Rötter' is an immense journey. Anyone under the impression that metal lacks melody as a genre, should certainly check out this great album from Vintersorg, and possibly reconsider their opinions.

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alexius108 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
There's one more album, 2014, "Naturbal", add it, please!

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