Vintersorg - _Visions From the Spiral Generator_
(Napalm Records, 2002)
by: Adam Lineker (8 out of 10)
Remembering that past contact with Vintersorg had yielded some above average power metal experimentation, I was pleased to see that I could review his latest full-length album. What really doubled my interest in _Visions From the Spiral Generator_ was the band that Vintersorg had surrounded himself with, most notably bass master Steve DiGiorgio. It becomes apparent early in the album that the musicians acquit themselves well, with DiGiorgio's subtle licks really adding character to the Vintersorg sound. With a well-balanced mix, in which each instrument is free to play its role, we are treated to a glossy and clear production. All of which would mean very little if the music itself was a poor affair, but Vintersorg has not disappointed. He has composed some impressively individual works of power metal, diligently balancing his influences and working subtle changes of mood into the music. His folk leanings colour the tonality of his melodies, and while his riffworks may hold base origins in power metal, they are very progressive in structure and inventive in composition; his use of melodic keyboard layering emphasizes his progressive flair. While his band performs the music with aplomb, his prog tinged vocals soar over the top, harmonising and countering instrumental dialogue. Vintersorg also throws the occasional curve ball by showcasing his black metal roots in the form of a suitably savage distortion vocal. The music on _VFtSG_ is absorbing and colourful, though often melancholy. However, _VFtSG_ can be criticised for not always flowing as slickly as it might, with the relationship between some of the tracks sitting slightly awkwardly; in particular the last track "Trance Locator" is as strong a change in mood as you will find on the album, yet doesn't feel at all like a conclusion. Also, while sometimes being effectively employed as an expressive tool, Vintersorg's distortion vocals can feel unsuited to the mood of the music. Thankfully, these faults do not detract much from the overall resulting music, and though it is hard to latch onto any memorable hooks, it remains an enjoyable listening experience. One gets the feeling that Vintersorg's music reflects the intellectual nature of his philosophical concepts and lyrical ideas, though the fact that he prefers to sing in his mother tongue means that they are mostly lost on me.


(article published 21/3/2003)

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