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Vintersorg - Cosmic Genesis - 70%

ConorFynes, January 17th, 2011

In progressive music circles, the genre of black metal seems to get a treatment as if it were the plague. Even many metalheads themselves can't bring themselves to develop a taste for it, although diehard fans of the genre swear it is one of the most atmospheric and emotive styles of music in existence to date. With Vintersorg's 'Cosmic Genesis,' it appears as if there is a perfect album for those who aren't into black metal (or other extreme forms) but are interested to look into it. Strong melodies and intelligent instrumentation mixed with some more primal, heavy sounding riffs makes for a very well rounded metal album that a much wider variety of listeners should find appreciation for.

One of the biggest points of contension people seem to have with black metal are the high pitched screams which dominate and help define the genre. While these are indeed present in 'Cosmic Genesis,' the main form of vocal delivery rests on the deep and strong clean singing of Andreas Hedlund, at times verging on being operatic in nature.

Strong melodies and some rocking guitar riffs are the order of the day for over half of the album. The second half of the album has some golden moments, but it doesn't seem to quite measure up to the high level of consistency and quality that was blessed upon the first four tracks. The only track here that could have been left off is the cover of the Uriah Heep track 'Rainbow Demon,' which while performed admirably (and having a very good medieval- sounding intro,) is weak from it's irritating chorus. 'Naturens Galleri' is another track that doesn't match up to the stronger tracks, but it has some interesting folk segments that I wish the band would have elaborated on, on 'Cosmic Genesis.'

The album is full of great black/folk metal tracks, although the highlights would undeniably include the opener ('Astral & Arcane,') the title track, and the powerful ballad 'The Enigmatic Spirit,' which incidentally convinced me to check out this album after hearing it. While I think the highly melodic nature of this album will help at least a few people open up to black metal as a whole, an established listener to extreme metal might find this a little tame.

A good album, but not typical of the genre! - 85%

PowerMetalGuardian, July 22nd, 2007

I was excited to get this Vintersorg album because I have never heard this band before. After listening to it for awhile, I have enjoyed the album, but have become slightly confused. I did some research on Vintersorg and saw they are viking/folk metal, two genres I have been on a kick for in the last year or two. I hardly see how this is viking metal though. None of the lyrics talk about Vikings or Norse mythology. Instead the album seems to deal with space and astronomy, indeed under the notes on this album; thanks are given to Carl Sagan, an astronomer and astrobiologist. Now it does have a heavy folk sound, but I will describe this later on.


The album starts out with a pretty cool symphonic intro and after awhile the drums blast in with a fast tempo with a cool guitar melody. And then – as you get built up – you are let down. I was expecting these crushing death metal growls, but instead a normal singer. Now there are death metal like growls, but they are sporadic in the album. The normal singing is more of the mainstream of this album. I guess when I think viking metal, then I think of Moonsorrow or Wintersun, but this is so far from it.


The normal vocals are performed in a very low octave. In a lot of ways it reminds me of Mathias Blad, though not an exact replica. The occasional death metal singing is present, and for me at least very effective. The guitar riffs are wonderfully done on this album. They carry the usual melodic folk influence that you would see in bands like Skyclad and Falconer. In fact most of the guitar riffs on the song Ars Memorativa almost sound exactly like Falconer…I thought I had the wrong disc in!


The keyboards I really wrestle with. Sometimes they add nothing to the song, and actually bring down the quality of the song. For example, the keys on Algol are horrible. He uses a church organ sound and it does not clash with the guitars at all. In contrast, like on the song A Dialog with the Stars, the keys are the backbone of the song. Without the keys the song would fall apart. So the keys on this album are very hit and miss.


Overall I enjoyed this album, I guess at first it was a shock because I did not expect this to be what it is. Imagine guitar work and singing like Falconer, with occasional death metal growls. Now throw in a bit of melodic guitar work like Dissection. Nothing at all like most viking metal. That’s not to say it is bad! Just make sure you realize this as well. Most of the songs are good, save for a few. My favorites and some to check out are: A Dialog with the Stars, Ars Memorativa, and the cover of Uriah Heep’s Rainbow Demon is phenomenal

The bridge between old and new Vintersorg - 95%

PerArdua, August 29th, 2004

This album combines folk elements along with elements of black metal, Vintersorg executes this perfectly on 'Cosmic Genesis'

Astral and Arcane: This album starts off with a sort of spooky synth riff, before blasting off into folk metal. This songs vocals stick out the most, Vintersorg is singing over a typical black metal-ish riff. The song then slows down into a harmonic part with more singing before returning to black metal, this time around with screams. The song progressess with some typical metal riffs and some interesting guitar leads before returning to some harmony part, along with strummed acoustic guitars and sung vocals. Here, Vintersorgs vocals stick out more than ever. His voice fits perfectly with the music here. The song then shifts in synthesizer mode, with a synth riff and drums along with singing. I'm not very big on this part, but it leads up perfectly to the slower more epic part of the song. Again, Vintersorgs vocals fit nicely here. The song then returns to it a typical Vintersorg riff, with some odd synths going in the back and nice vocals here.
4/5 Solid song

Algol: This song starts off with some very light clean chords being played. The song then blasts off with speed and nice guitar riffing, Vintersorg begins to utilize his ability to switch between singing and screaming very well in this song. This song is defined by the vocals, as the guitar riffs take a backseat to Vintersorgs vocals. The music is nothing to be overlooked though, this song has guitars, synths, pianos (and drums obviously) all going at the same time. There are only certain parts in this song where the guitar gets an opportunity to shine, and they do indeed.
4.5/5 I love this song.

A dialogue with the stars: (No this is not an In Flames cover.) Song begins right off the bat with acoustic strumming and electric guitar chords going in the back wrong, sounds very nicely together (it would sound better without a drum machine). The song pauses for a short interlude then picks up for the verse. Vintersorg again alternates between singing and screaming in this song, his vocals don't seem to fit as well in this song (atleast his screams don't.) The song then tends to get folk/viking style towards the end with Vintersorg singing/chanting. The song then returns to the same style it started off with (acoustic + electric) along with a solo, the solo fits well with the song and leads right into an epic ending.
3.5/5 The second half of this song is much better than the first

Cosmic Genesis: Song opens with some odd synths before going into a typical Vintersorg folky guitar riff. The vocals are spoken, softly, at first. The vocals then pick up, as well as the song does. The guitars and the vocals blend very nicely together here. The chorus is very interesing, it's alot more mellow than the rest of the song, still quite good though. The guitar riff than changes, and in comes Vintersorg screaming, this part is also quite good before changing back to singing vocals, including even some harmonized vocals, then a return to the chorus. The song then stops, and a clean guitar comes in along with a cello. There is then a clean solo, a very nice transition. Soon Vintersorg comes in with some very nice singing. This part is very mellow, i enjoy it. As it progresses different instruments come in, until the song returns to the chorus.[/B]
5/5 One of my favorites on the album

Om Regnbågen Materialiserades: Song starts with a nice folky guitar riff, then music picks up and Vintersorg begins singing, this time in Swedish, but good nonetheless. The guitar riff changes, still blending in perfectly with Vintersorgs vocals. Some of the riffs here, remind me of a slowed down less extreme, Finntroll. About midway through the song, an acoustic guitar takes the stage with some cool synth effects behind. Soon enough the drums and vocals come in, Vintersorgs vocals here and soft and soothing. Very nice. The song then returns to the opening riff, picking up the song a bit. Vintersorg takes his vocals to an extreme here, vocals harmonies and very odd voice tones here, leading right into a solo. The solo isn't mind blowing but it fits perfectly with the song leading right back into the song, instead of keeping this high intensity, Vintersorg brings back the acoustic guitar along with vocals here, i like how he did this. The song then fades out on this.
5/5 Great song

Ars Memorativa: Another high intensity song here, especially the vocals along with the guitars are perfect. The song then picks up, Vintersorg is now using an effect on his voice, like a voice box. His voice soon returns to singing, along with a guitar riff full of pinch harmonics in the background. The song then gets more folk, no vocals, the synths dominate here, giving the song an eerie sort of feeling. The solo to this song comes in perfectly, leading right back into the singing. About 3/4 of the way through the song picks up to a more epic feel with organs in the background, a very nice touch. The song finishes out with very high intensity, pinch harmonics, harmonies are all over. I love this part.
5/5 My favorite song on the album.

Rainbow Demon: This song is a Uriah Heep cover, so i won't spend that much time reviewing it. They do a very good job on it, adding their unique sense of folk music to it. Especially on the vocals.
3.5/5 A good cover

Naturens Galleri: This song starts off fast, then comes to a complete stop. A total 180, Vintersorg begins to sing in Norwegian with some odd synth thing going on in the background. The song then picks up, this song is full of folk melody and nice work on the vocals. The second verse is essentially the same as the first, with the addition of some double bass in the drumming. The chorus is incredibely upbeat, due to the vocals. There is so much energy here. Right out of the chorus there is a guitar solo, fits nicely with the song, it's almost like a rock solo, lots of bends. The song then keeps up the intensity as the vocals return here. At about 3:30 the song comes to a stop and there are interchanging piano/drum parts along with a constant guitar part, which soon becomes harmonized. I enjoy this part alot. The song ends on full blast with the chorus.
4.5/5 Great song

The enigmatic spirit: Starts with acoustic guitars going along with a mellow synth in the background, just for support. The verse continues with acoustics still going along piano, Vintersorgs singing fits perfectly here. This is more of an emotional song. The song picks up a bit, still with acoustics along piano but drums come in for the chorus and Vintersorgs vocals pick up a bit as well. This leads into an acoustic solo, it's played very well and fits with the whole mood of the song well. Then the song returns to as it was before the chrous. After the second chorus, a synth part comes in, it's very ambient (and difficult to hear) and the song fades out on that, thus ending the album.
5/5 Great, emotional song.

This album combines aspects of folk music, black metal while keeping a unique 'Vintersorg' sound. The two aspects that are focused on most in this album (the guitar work and the vocals) are both top-notch. This album utilizes all the folk melodies from his previous works and continues to show what else he has up his sleeve for later releases.