Vinterriket - _Gebirgshshenstille_
(Displeased, 2008)
by: Jeremy Ulrey (3.5 out of 10)
Some may be impressed, even mystified, by the literally dozens upon dozens of releases one Christoph Ziegler has hemorrhaged out since the year 2000, mostly under the moniker Vinterriket but also under Nebelkorona, Nocternity, Atomtrakt and Graven. Indeed, I was forced to glean all of this information off of Encyclopaedia Metallum since the A&R honcho at Displeased is so overwhelmed by the scattershot catalog himself that even he is reduced to throwing up his hands and redirecting me to for the full incestuous details. I myself am never mystified and only infrequently impressed; the rarity of my slack-jawed incredulity is frankly far from being jeopardized by the likes of _Gebirgshshenstille_.

Frankly, at the risk of betraying a certain well heeled prejudice against artists that seem just a little too prolific for their own good, this is exactly what you'd expect from an artist who seems just a little too prolific for his own good. Only two tracks have any fuzzed out, guitar-based black metal overtones at all, the rest being filled by elongated keyboard washes achieved in all likelihood by channeling up some MIDI factory preset and mashing down on a few beginner piano chords. Any attempt at atmosphere is undercut by the dead serious yet completely robotic stagnation and absolute defiance of any forward momentum. In fact, there's really no reason Vinterriket can't pump out 30 or more similar albums a -day-, as it wouldn't be too difficult to program a computer to write these little ditties literally faster than they could be played in real time, let alone dreamed up by a creatively inclined human being. On the basis of this album alone I'd guess Mr. Ziegler is some sort of auteur musical klepto, impulsively stealing valuable time out of your day though it benefits him not one iota.

P.S. Great artwork in the CD booklet though, sincerely. Don't know who Moga A. is, but in terms of creating atmospherics at least one person involved in this project has a genuine flair for it.


(article published 2/7/2008)

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