Vinterriket - _Kaelte, Schee und Eis - Rekapitulation der Winterszeit_
(BadMoodMan Music / Solitude Productions, 2007)
by: Quentin Kalis (4 out of 10)
Vinterriket's grimoire contains both serene dark ambient and harsher, blacker spells, in equal measure. For this album, he has revisited some of the latter numbers and reinterpreted them within a shroud of ambient enchantment. Although the originals are considered by some to be black metal, the mere presence of vicious Burzum-esque screams and a heavily distorted guitar are insufficient by themselves for it to be black metal, and I always felt that such elements were a veneer for what was really more closely aligned to dark ambient than black metal. Alternatively, Vinterriket's music can be seen as an inversion of the usual black metal guitar and keys relationship, where the former is the driving force and the latter normally an accompanying afterthought used to flesh out the skeletal riffs.

This is not a re-recording, but rather a reinterpretation; as far as I know, Vinterriket has every intention of continuing with his post-black sojourns on future releases. The process of transforming the noisier numbers has been less than successful, however. The programmed drums are the worst aspect: they simply don't gel with the synths and sound like an unnecessary afterthought. I'm not even sure what their function is; these ambient works don't require percussion of any sort and it certainly doesn't drive the songs forward. The synths are the main focus, but they tend to be as cheap and nasty as a crack whore desperate for her next fix.

It's not the source material that's the problem, as there is nothing seriously wrong with songs such as the original "Winterschatten"; it's just that their metamorphosis into key-based numbers requires something more than whispering previously snarled vocals and substituting synth for guitar.

Vinterriket's output has been some 40(!) demos, EPs, full-lengths and splits since 2000, but this will not be one of his high points.

Contact: http://www.vinterriket.com

(article published 11/6/2008)


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