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   VINTERSORG
Visions From The Spiral Generator
2002
Napalm Records
http://www.vintersorg.com


rating: 5/5

1. Quotation
2. Vem Styr Symmetrin?
3. A Metaphysical Drama
4. Universums Dunkla Alfabet
5. ESP Mirage
6. Spegelsfären
7. The Explorer
8. A Star-guarded Coronation
9. Trance Locator
What an amazing album this is! Though I have to admit that this wasn't exactly my first reaction when I listened to "Visions From The Spiral Generator" for the first time. It seemed too different from the previous releases and too complex to "click" on first listen. But already being a fan I was willing to give the new album some extra spins to get into and it was very rewarding to do so. I advise everybody to do the same!

The key to appreciate this album is not wanting to compare "new" with "old" Vintersorg but enjoying the huge steps forward the band made. Not only the arrangements came out different, also the musicians backing the whole thing changed and are worth mentioning. Apart from mr V's long-time accompanist Mattias Marklund on guitar there have been changes in the rhythm section. There's now not only Steve DiGiorgio (e.g. Death, Sadus) handling the fretless bass. Also the drum machine was replaced by a human drum machine ;), namely Asgeir Mickelson (Borknagar, Spiral Architect), whose slightly technical yet tasteful drumming adds another dimension to the Vintersorg sound. A rhythm section like this speaks volumes of the solid ground Vintersorg was able to build the songs on.

The album kicks off with an intro which for logical reasons is called "Quotation" since it actually is a quote ;) It passes into the first real song "Vem Styr Symmetrin?" and yes, "Visions..." is again a multilingual release, with English as well as Swedish lyrics dealing with questions regarding our existence in this universe. Since nature isn't the common theme anymore almost gone is the folkish vibe Vintersorg is famous for. Of course, that direction had already started on "Cosmic Genesis" but the music has now become even more varied and experimental which makes it hard to desribe. Mostly fast and heavy but also a little mellow at times ("A Star-guarded Coronation", resembles "The Enigmatic Spirit" from the "Cosmic Genesis" album) this album shows a lot of creativity, using additionally not only acoustic guitars but also some synths/keyboards and even a good old Hammond (a little more of that, please!).

Mr. V is still one of the best vocalists around and while he constantly switches between grim vocals and clean singing the more dark, majestic voice we're all familiar with has disappeared. But that does no harm to the vocal melody lines/choirs which are fantastic (though I like his multivocal chanting on Borknagar's "Empiricism" even better - I know these are two different things but I had to point it out). Anyway, as always he did all vocals himself and that alone is impressive.

Weirdest track must be "ESP Mirage", a song with an almost jazzy vibe along with some of the most remarkable bass lines of the album. That track took me the longest to get into while in "Spegelsfären" or "The Explorer" the old Vintersorg style shines through. The album closes with a short and brutal track "Trance Locator" whose sense still has not occured to me though (is it supposed to be a sort of outro or was it meant as a real song?)

There are a lot of musicians out there but few deserve to be entitled as an artist. Vintersorg most certainly is one of them. This is an intriguing and progressive record and I believe "Visions..." will reveal its qualities to everyone who gives it a fair chance..

submitted by Cora 09.01.2003

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