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Vintersorg > Solens rötter > Reviews > ConorFynes
Vintersorg - Solens rötter

Vintersorg - Solens Rötter - 80%

ConorFynes, January 17th, 2011

In what can be described as a 'return to their roots,' Vintersorg has arguably created their most consistent album to date. Moving away from the avant-garde leanings of the previous two albums and making a return to the viking folk metal sound the band was founded on, there is still a level of progressive ambition retained that should appease those that found themselves moreso drawn to the stranger-sounding, more recent material. Despite their potential labelling as 'black metal,' 'Solens Rötter' is a deeply melodic journey, and seeks to break Vintersorg out of the genre almost entirely.

The album's strength relies greatly on the strong clean singing abilities of Andreas Hedlund. While there are the typical black metal growls here as well, much of the songwriting is centered around the immense vocal harmonies the man can produce. Meaning 'roots of the sun' in Swedish, 'Solens Rötter' is also the first album in almost a decade that Vintersorg writes completely in their mother tongue. While this may rob the average english-speaking listener of the firsthand abililty to delve into the subject matter being sung at hand, the language is phonetically very well suited for the music, and gives the album an even more Scandanavian vibe to it.

The generally optimistic (yet beautiful) clean singing and polished production gives the music a light feeling overall, despite obvious attempts in places to be 'dark.' As has been said before, Vintersorg gets back in touch with the concept of 'folk metal' here, and the typical metal instruments are mixed in with much more traditional sounds; giving 'Solens Rötter' a very medieval feeling to it. While there is certainly progressiveness to the music here (comparisons to prog death giants Opeth is not unfounded), many of the songs here are generally straightforward in their structure, although each track is very strong. The album certainly opens with one of it's strongest pieces however; 'Döpt I En Jökelsjö.' Through an array of acoustic guitars, black metal growls, rapid fury and finally the great harmonized clean vocal work, the opener is a perfect crash course in everything that a listener can expect from 'Solens Rötter.'

The album's sense of flow isn't particularly great and the sound is generally quite uniform throughout, but 'Solens Rötter' is an immense journey. Anyone under the impression that metal lacks melody as a genre, should certainly check out this great album from Vintersorg, and possibly reconsider their opinions.