Vintersorg – Naturbal (Napalm Records)Wednesday, 25th June 2014
Good ole Vintersorg, always at one with the natural elements. Naturbal is the third of these “elemental” records, and if it wasn’t obvious from the cover, this one deals with the element of fire. Combining these folky elements with the later day penchant for the progressive has done the band well, with Naturbal continuing to wave the Vintersorg banner high for all to see.
Vintersorg has always had their own singular vision on the black/folk genre and Naturbal comes across as more of the same. The highlight to each Vintersorg release is that of Mr. V’s charismatic vocals (particularly of the clean variety) and he brings his A-game to this one as well (like always). Tracks like “Rymdens Brinnande Oar,” “Ur Aska Och Sot,” and “Sjal I Flamma” are sure to please long time fans of the epic sing-a-long clean vocal choruses. The merger of the catchy, melodic clean sung choruses with the more aggressive, black metal verses is the bread and butter of Vintersorg’s musical output and does not disappoint. Rougher cuts like “En Blixt Fran Klar Himmel” and “Elddraken” (The Fire Dragon) bring a nice balance of speedy melodic black metal with enough bombast to keep listeners on their toes. Those looking more towards the progressive spectrum will surely dig tracks like “Lagornas Rov” and “Urdarmane.” Clearly, Vintersorg has a bit of something for everyone this time around.
Even though it doesn’t bring much new to the table, it doesn’t make Naturbal any less compelling. With the solid and mostly consistent discography that Vintersorg has already established, it’s hard to blame the band for giving us all what we really want. The essence of Vintersorg has been boiled down to a science at this point. Through the established sound and unique vocals, it’s easy to spot a Vintersorg release. This is simply continued quality from the Swedish masters.