Vinterriket - _Und die Nacht kam schweren Schrittes_
(Neodawn Productions / Regimental Records, 2002)
by: Quentin Kalis (7 out of 10)
After releasing an inordinately high number of demos and EPs over the past two years, Vinterriket has finally gotten around to releasing his (it's a one-man project) debut full-length, which clocks in at a satisfying 64+ minutes, unlike his all-too-brief piecemeal releases of the past. Thankfully, he has all but abandoned his previous patchy flirtations with black metal (though he deserves credit for the original sound he created on the black metal-tinged demo _Sturme der letzen Stille_) in favour of a complete reversion to the melancholic and instrumental darkness found on his very first release, _Gjennon Takete Skogen_. As with _GTS_, Vinterriket utilises an array of ethereal soundscapes and tinkling keyboards in order to create a distinctively morose atmosphere. As before, his ambient meanderings can be compared to early Mortiis or incarceration-era Burzum, but even his very first release -- and there has been considerable development since then, with more complex melodies being utilized -- was more layered and complex then the likes of either _Fodt Til A Herske_ or _Daudi Baldrs_. The production of his recent releases has seen a noticeable improvement over the earlier releases and this trend is continued here. There are a number of noticeable dips in quality, most notably on the final track where the ambience is disturbed by the emergence of a "dance beat" -- for want of a better term -- and if that wasn't bad enough, it sounds like it emanates from a cheap Casio keyboard. Nevertheless, these minor flaws do not detract from what is otherwise an admirable debut.


(article published 16/3/2003)

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