latest metal news on our main pagecd reviewslive reviewsinterviewsspecials 850 links!contact us!chatour message board on Ultimate Metal /mp/\.jpgm/
  INTERVIEWS
recent:
DARK TRANQUILLITY
CIPHER SYSTEM
GOD DETHRONED
AFTER FOREVER
VOMITORY
STAMPIN' GROUND
AYREON
CHAOSBREED
CATTLE DECAPITATION
ANCIENT
INTIES ARCHIVE
  SPECIALS
recent:
NAGLFAR
studio report

(last update: Feb 9th)

SYMPHORCE tourreport - Cede Dupont telling about life on the road

SPEC. ARCHIVE

  NICO'S PHOTOPIT

  ULTIMATE METAL
Have your official forum at the most awesome online metal community!

  MUSICIANS ADS
Looking for other musicians to jam with? Send us your ad! More info:
MUSICIANS ADS

  METAL RADIO
Seismic Radio
Snakenet Radio
Apocalypse Radio
Dementia Radio

  NEWSLETTER
Sign up if you want us to keep you posted about our updates!

WEBCounter by GOWEB    

   CD REVIEWS ARCHIVE

   VINTERSORG
The Focusing Blur
2004
Napalm Records
http://www.vintersorg.com


rating: 5/5

1. Prologue Dialogue - The Reason
2. The Essence
3. The Thesis' Seasons
4. Matrix Odyssey
5. Star Puzzled
6. A Sphere In A Sphere (To Infinity)
7. A Microscopical Macrocosm
8. Blindsight Complexity
9. Dark Matter Mystery (Blackbody      Spectrum)
10. Curtains
11. Artifacts Of Chaos (instr.)
12. Epilogue Metalogue - Sharpen Your        Mind Tools

So here it finally is, probably my most anticipated release of 2004: The new Vintersorg. And I apologize in advance for the length of this review - please believe me that I already tried to keep it short ;)
So, are you ready for a journey though the mysteries of our existence and the universe? Welcome to "The Focusing Blur"! Like its predecessor, the album needed a little while to settle. Impatience is something you should not put in your travel bag when starting this adventure. But with each listen the album grew on me even more...and despite the zillion of times I've been playing it (literally on repeat for weeks everywhere!) I'm still not fed up with it. Sounds like a good album? Let me tell you that it is. I don't dare to say whether people who despised "Visons From The Spiral Generator" (VFTSG) will like "The Focusing Blur". The new album does sound different but it's still pretty "VFTSG-style" and you can clearly hear it's the same musicians playing here. Vintersorg has taken the progressive approach even further while on the other hand added more folky elements again (fans of "old" Vintersorg should find a couple of tunes to please them).

One thing that might be important to know about "The Focusing Blur" is that it's a concept album "revolving around man's hunger for science and faith". That also explains the lack of lyrics in Swedish, something I'm personally a little sad about but I do understand the necessity to follow one language when dealing with a concept (not that it helped me much to understand the complex topic ;)). But I think even without knowing it's a concept album you could guess it is one as you can hear Lazare (Borknagar, Solefald) as the narrator in the beginning or ending of some songs. The whole album is an amazing piece of musical expression with different moods (for example "Curtains" - at least parts of it could be part of a musical and it calls for a stage in a theatre imho). It's impossible to describe every single detail of each song here and even if I did, words never do justice to music. Still, that exactly is my task now, and so here's some more exploration.

"Prologue Dialogue - The Reason" is the intro and it perfectly sets the mood for what is to come and what the concept deals with - it could not have been named better. After that intro, the album starts off quite mellow with acoustic guitars but "The Essence" quickly turns into an aggressive piece of music with grim vocals - just to slow down with clean vocals for the chorus again. The final chorus is built up extremely nice as it climaxes with additional electric guitars and piano - I love it! A few words about the vocals: from comments I read all over the net Andreas Hedlund's (mr V) vocals seem to be a love or hate thing for a lot of people. It's no secret he's one of my favourite singers and in my opinion also really good in alternating between (or doing both) grim and clean vocals. mr V covers his full range of vocal styles, this time even enhanced by some spoken word passages. To a certain extend I could understand that some people might find a few of his vocal experiments on "The Focusing Blur" a bit too over the top though (i.e. at times he's singing higher than ever and does even perform some insane shrieking, hehe).

If I was to name some stand-out tracks, I'd have a hard time but "Matrix Odyssey" would probably be one of them. First of all, I just love those grim vocals with the clean back-up chanting. The other reason being the hammond in the song :) But the song does also bear one negative point for me. There's some heavy and furious outbreak with a horrible synth...it's only a few seconds but I found the combination so nerve-rackling that the night after I got to hear the song for the first time, I hardly found any sleep because I had that bloody part in my head. Generally, the synths are probably the only point of critic here and there. When I made notes while listening to the album for the very first time, one thing that I repeatedly wrote down was either cheesy or overdone synths. But after a while I realized they often just have to be there - or this would be a totally different record. Still, I think I wouldn't mind a little less.

Right from the start you will be enchanted by the basswork on "The Focusing Blur" but it's on "Star Puzzled" where it takes over the leading role for a while and so I think it's time for a few words of praise for Steve DiGiorgio (Testament, Sadus). I must admit I'm not someone who's generally paying too much attention to the bass...and often I don't really get the chance to do so anyway because the bass often is just "somewhere" and not really audible. Not so here. Steve's basswork is impossible to be ignored, and that's so good!! Awesome. Also on the jazzy "A Sphere In A Sphere (To Infinity)" the qualities of the rhythm section show, and yes, it's noone else than Asgeir Mickelson (Borknagar, Spiral Architect) on drums again. I guess dropping his name is sufficent for now ;)

"A Microscopical Macrocosm" is a very mellow track, only acoustic guitars and clean vocals - it seems to be a part of a formula to have a track like this on each album (see "The Enigmatic Spirit" on "Cosmic Genesis" or "The Explorer" on "VFTSG"). Speaking of acoustic guitars: It's unbelievable how many of them are on "The Focusing Blur", while the overall impression of the album remains pretty heavy throughout. The music very much lives off the contrasts between calm and heavy parts. All of the guitarwork courtesy of mr V himself and of course is fellow band mate Mattias Marklund is excellent and as versatile as the arrangements are. Each track would be worth a note or two but looking at how long this review already is I'll continue with naming "Curtains". I'm lost for words though. Listen to it, that's all I can say. Probably the "weirdest" track on the album and in the band's history. To be honest, the following instrumental "Artifacts Of Chaos" is somewhat useless to me but the last track "Epilogue Metalogue - Sharpen Your Mind Tools" is the perfect closing song - lyrically picking up where the album started.

I'm stunned by Vintersorg's creativity and it's amazing to see such a wide variety of different elements work so well together. A splendid album which is demanding but worth the effort. Take a little time and you'll hopefully treasure "The Focusing Blur" as much as I do.

submitted by Cora 14.02.2004

   CD REVIEWS ARCHIVE

rating 1 - 5 Morrigans
5 = awesome, 4 = good, 3 = average, 2 = keep practising, 1 = sell your gear!
  CD REVIEWS
recent:
IMAGIKA
INTERNAL SUFFERING
RAISING FEAR
ASTRAL DOORS
SCAR SYMMETRY
HEAVILS, THE
UNCHAINED
MERCENARY
STATETROOPER
HIBRIA
CDS ARCHIVE
  LIVE REVIEWS
recent:
DEICIDE - ARKHON INFAUSTUS - DARKDAYRISING, Haarlem

THE GATHERING - PAATOS, Frankfurt

DYNAMO OPEN AIR, Nijmegen

KATAKLYSM - GRAVEWORM - MYSTIC CIRCLE - INTO ETERNITY , Essen

EVERGREY - MERCENARY, Vosselaar/Weert

INTO ETERNITY - DIRTBRED - SPARKY, Saskatoon

LIVE ARCHIVE

  TOURDATES
Check or add tour-dates on our forum!
TOURDATES

  FESTIVALS

copyright
2002-2005
Morrigan's Pit

DISCLAIMER