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Dark side of Mother Nature - 76%

MusiqueMashine, June 23rd, 2011

In 2009 Christoph Ziegler, the man behind Vinterriket, graced us with Horizontmelancholie. Most of his releases are in limited edition, each being a unique and individual work of art. This release is no different; here we find a 7 song cd on one side of the disc and a DVD on the other side. Earlier works were subtle mixtures of Dark Ambient and Black Metal. Here we discover more of a Neofolk sound combined with Ambient.

That an artist is willing to venture into different varieties of music is welcoming. Although formed in 1996, it can be said the Vinterriket has not settled for one sound. Each recording is distinctive, and each seems to show growth as Christoph Ziegler as a musician.

To explain this work as a whole would be to describe it as a homage to nature in all its complexities. Acoustic guitars and clean vocals give a pensive but graceful sound to every song. The Ambient touches are used skillfully to provide the wintery forest atmosphere. Each piece conveys the feelings of isolation, coldness and emptiness. That being said there is also an expansive and majestic ambience that is conveyed.

Watching the DVD while listening to the music gave a first-hand look how the songs were to be interpreted. It is a striking composition of video and music. The beautiful scenery of dense forests, lakes, misty snow capped mountains and tumbling streams are enhanced by the somberness of the songs. It’s a hauntingly emotional presentation and solidly performed.

Within all these emotions there is an innocence to all this; not in a frivolous way but truly sincere. While this may be a tribute to the dark side of Mother Nature, there is also an uplifting and sacredness to it as well.

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