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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Vinterskog - Wintry Landscapes

Not The New Vintersorg, Sorry.

Vinterskog is a pagan black metal duo from Switzerland. This is the duo's first full-length release ever. This duo caught my attention with their name, which I mistakenly took to be Vintersorg, but it was not.
This thing starts off like it's trying to be epic and huge, but opener Awakening doesn't ever reach that level. For some reason this track keeps feeling like it's building towards a climax using these epic strings and atmospheric synthes while the guitars and drums come in and just play this repetitive building riff that goes nowhere. Even the females vocals, yes, the vocals, synthes, and flutes are all played by a girl, don't really feel all that appropriate for this track.
But now that the awful opener is out of the way, we can get to the rest of the album. Evighetens Pilegrim starts wonderfully, with aggressive, yet melodic, tremolo picked guitars and harmonized male/female singing. Sure, that's nothing original, but it certainly is well performed on the duo's part, as solos, both guitar and flute, are used throughout the album, much to their benefit. For the most part, this album has more in common with black metal rather than folk music, but a track like White Plains (The Wizard) brings the folk side more to the front, and is actually quite refreshing, especially seeing as the influence is not overused.
Stylistically, the duo make use of a fairly decent amount of influences ranging from more symphonic and folk elements to the typical melodic black metal and even a bit of thrash. Thus, as one might expect, the music is melodic, not overly aggressive, but containing some good, catchy melodies, hear Poison. However, there in lies the biggest problem, besides the opening track, with this album and really all bands in this genre, they may come up with great melodies, but in the end, most songs end up being interchangeable with each other.
Overall, I do believe that this is a decent album that has a lot of good, catchy melodies. A few of the songs could be touched up a bit, maybe made a little bit more interesting, but this is really above average for a debut release from a group in this scene. If you like melodic black metal with a bit of a folk influence, don't be afraid to check this out.
Overall Score: 7
Highlights: Poison, Secretly Dead, Fire Banner


  1. "Evighetens Pilegrim starts wonderfully, with aggressive, yet melodic, tremolo picked guitars and harmonized male/female singing."

    >>> No, all vocals are made by Lokaa (the "girl"). Check out the PDF clicking on the album pic on www.vinterskog.ch, it's all written!

  2. I'll give it to you that it does say she does all the vocals, but she's going down aweful low for a girl if indeed she does do it all.

  3. What's the problem of a girl doing this???

  4. There isn't a problem of a girl doing it, it's just that I was a bit skeptical of a girl singing - not screaming - in a lower register that was used in the harmonies of that track. Upon further listens, it could be a girl, but that doesn't really effect the song's overall effect in any way.

  5. It IS Lokaa (the girl) who sings, I know both voices of Vinterskog's members and I can san it without any problem... She has got a very, very low voice (and that's why we like her so much as a singer) =)
    .A Vinterskog's friend.

  6. Once again, that's fine, it doesn't really impact the score I gave it or my impression. Your statement, while it is correct, is really irrelevant at this point.