Release DetailsLABEL Napalm Records
RELEASED ON 5/22/2007
posted on 7/2007 By:
While not a true return to form, Vintersorg’s sixth full-length Solens Rötter (The Roots of the Sun) has more in common with earlier albums Till Fjälls and Ödemarkens Son than anything released since. As a matter of fact, the observant will notice that, for the first time in eight years, the album title and song titles are in Swedish rather than English, and that the folk has worked its way to the front of the band’s sound after having taken a backseat to the cosmic/spacey nature of Vintersorg’s progressive-minded records – Cosmic Genesis, Visions from the Spiral Generator, and The Focusing Blur. Thus, and perhaps it doesn’t come as a surprise, Solens Rötter is Mr. V’s best output in years.
Despite the axing of Steve DiGiorgio (Sadus) and Asgeir Mickelson (Borknagar, Spiral Architect), the rhythm section, which now features the TME guys, is as strong as ever, so the quality of the musicianship hasn’t dropped enough to complain about. In fact, it seems the line-up change may’ve rejuvenated Mr. V because SR projects inspiration. “Döpt i en Jökelsjö” is a beautiful opener that utilizes acoustic guitar, folk-y keyboards, and the frontman’s trademark vocals. The layered vocals are great, too, because Mr. V backup sings while growling, and, as fans know, the man can do both really well. Similar to previous installments in the Vintersorg series, songs like “Perfektionisten,” “Spirar Och Gror,” “Kosmosaik,” and most others speak of heavy keyboard usage, yet somehow manage to construct an organic atmosphere in true, Borknagar fashion.
“Idétemplet,” “Naturens Mystär,” Att Bygga En Ruin,” “Strålar,” “Från Materia Till Ande,” and vocal-free ending “Vad Aftonvindens Andning Viskar” are all incredibly solid, if not downright exceptional. Still, the highlight may be “Kosmosaik” due to the sweeping riffs/leads that occupy its latter half, which eventually segue into Mr. V crooning overtop acoustic and clean guitars. Referencing the acoustic guitar once again, it plays a pivotal role in closing number “Vad Aftonvindens Andning Viskar,” as it does in opener “Döpt i en Jökelsjö,” so there is a full-circle effect that makes for a well-rounded, 53-minute album. Also, at five or six minutes apiece, every track pulls its own weight.
On that note, it’s encouraging to hear such fire behind Mr. V since releases from his last few projects (Borknagar, Cronian, Fission, Waterclime[?]) and even his brainchild Vintersorg have been merely above average, if not clearly disappointing. Solens Rötter, however, capitalizes on the elements that made the Swede’s earlier works great, and as a result, it’s his finest outing in a long time.
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The Focusing Blur
Visions From the Spiral Generator