Vintersorg – Till fjälls, del II (Napalm)

Wednesday, 28th June 2017
Rating: 8.5/10

Back to the forest and nature we go for Vintersorg, this, after multiple albums of mathematics and science-spinning, the type of music that the band’s Andreas Hedlund namesake should have trademarked. Till fjälls, del II is, as suggested, the sequel to the band’s 1998 debut of the same name. While Cosmic Genesis is and probably forever will be Vintersorg’s greatest triumph, the double-disc Till fjälls, del II is the band’s most adventurous outing in quite some time…probably since Cosmic Genesis if we want to go that far.

Lyrics are all in Swedish, continuing the thread that was re-started on 2007’s Solens rötter. It’s hardly an issue since Hedlund’s vocals are so rich, particularly his clean vocals. As distinctive as ever, Hedlund’s soaring moods and melodies define pulsating cuts such as “Jökelväktaren” (a song that bears some riff resemblance to Cosmic Genesis) and “Fjällets mäktiga mur.” Indeed the heavier, if not slightly black metal-angled approach works like a charm, with Hedlund and longtime partner Mattias Marklund careening lush chord movements, crisp acoustic guitars and winding, ultra-Scandinavian riff action. Such a deluge culminates in disc two jaunts “Tillbaka till källorna” and “Svart mane.”

Hedlund, as we’ve no doubt indicated on these pages and in daily conversation, could sing over go-nowhere nu metal riffs and it would still sound convincing. The man remains in the upper-tier of Scandinavian metal vocalists, a fact that should be heightened based on the sheer weight and power of Till fjälls, del II. An album full of challenges and peaks and valleys, Till fjälls, del II brings Vintersorg back home to where they belong.

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