After the reaching the zenith of progressiveness and avant-garde with The Focussing Blur, Andreas Hedlund opted for a more back to basics approach on Solens Rötter (2007). The services of Steve DiGiorgio (bass) and Asgeir Mickelson (drums) were no longer required. The album was recorded by Hedlund and Marklund with the occasional help of some session musicians. Let’s see what impact that had on the material of Solens Rötter…
This back to basics approach is first and foremost manifested in the return of folk influences and increased black metal elements. Hedlund uses his grim vocals more and he utilises programmed drums. That’s another feature that can be traced to his earlier works, like Till Fjälls and Ödemarkens Son. The folk elements are further enhanced by the use of flutes, acoustic guitars, harps and the occasional string section. Spirar Och Gror, Kosmosaik, Att Bygga En Ruin and Straolar are shining examples of this new direction.
Hedlund and Marklund didn’t throw the progressive meanderings of Visions From The Spiral Generator and The Focusing Blur completely out the window either. Compositions like Perfektionisten, Idétemplet, Naturens Mystär and the aforementioned Spirar Och Gror and Kosmosaik are still complex and multi-layered in nature. The progressive elements may not be as pronounced as on previous records, but they’re certainly there. Usually I’m not particularly fond of programmed drums, but they’re tastefully executed by Hedlund, so their presence doesn’t really bother me.
In true Vintersorg tradition the production chores are expertly handled by Andreas Hedlund himself. This time around he’s chosen for a more organic sound, which enhances the folky atmosphere of Solens Rötter.
On Solens Rötter Hedlund and Marklund managed to find the right balance between the folk and black metal roots from Vintersorg’s older material and the progressive elements of the two newer records. This makes Solens Rötter a very complete and accomplished album which should satisfy both the old and new Vintersorg fans.
Written by Raymond Westland