An orgy of extreme metal played so fast and full on that the entire album is only thirteen minutes long. Well you know what your getting here, musically assaulted for the duration. If you like your traditional death metal in particular this is a great listen, with such a short running time it can’t possibly really outstay it’s welcome and without any filler whatsoever it’s just a pure slice of metal. There’s almost a municipal waste sense of fun to proceedings as well, at no point are expulsion taking themselves too seriously. If this band aren’t starting circle pits in gigs in the next year or so something has gone terribly wrong.
4 exploding heads out of 5
This album really does chunter along nicely. Black metal mixed with prog rock makes for a brilliantly entertaining listen. At times intense, at others almost a relaxing sojourn, this is one album that can never be accused of boring the listener. You’ll figure out pretty quickly if you’ll love it or loathe it as tracks surreally slide between satisfying thrash guitar and otherworldly synth patterns from the first two tracks onwards. Whilst only occasionally getting to truly spectacular heights this album remains very satisfying throughout, with Fogarty making barely a misstep throughout. Give it a go, if only for the almost shock rock like track of ‘Neon ghoul ride’ and a cover of Iron Maiden’s ‘two minutes to midnight’ that has all the crazy deep purple style organ you never knew it needed.
4 space constellations orbiting in reverse out of 5
An interesting release this one, it certainly flips about it’s styling often sometimes even during the same track, but maintains a consistent level of quality throughout. For younger musicians the level of technical skill on show here is extremely high, however songs can feel cobbled together from rather disparate parts, not all of which work so well together, even if they are impressively played. This lack of maturity in the structure of songs unfortunately extends to other areas and at times the vocal style and lyrics can feel a bit like whiny teenagers railing at the world and how they aren’t understood. This would be fine if in a different genre of music but it certainly doesn’t lend itself to lengthy progressive metal and at times during longer songs (and they do get long, the final song clocks in at almost 20 mins) it can get tedious.
This album isn’t a bad listen, but it’s overall lack of maturity may have many reaching for the stop button long before it’s over. As they get older and more experienced we could see some much more impressive stuff coming from this band.
2.5 angsty youngsters out of 5
Progressive / Folk Metal
Anyone who has been following Vintersorg for any length of time will already know what this be like and in truth it doesn’t really stray too far from previous efforts, it is still however an absolute treat. Sounding nothing short of epic at any one moment, the consistency of quality across the entirety of the album is astounding. Hedlund’s vocals vary throughout, at times clean and mournful, at other’s heading towards a black metal screech, both complementing the music expertly. The more progressive length of the tracks actually complements rather than detract here, giving each song it’s time to shine and never feeling rushed. The only criticism that could really be levelled is that songs can sound indistinguishable from each other, particularly towards the end of the album. However when the overall quality is this high it’s doubtful you’ll be picking out some songs over others anyway. In fact it’s arguably best as a long player one can simply put on and drift away into the soundscape of. One of the best folk metal albums of the year.
4.5 melancholy fantasy landscapes out of 5