Metal Hammer (UK) - - Albums - Pro­gres­sive pa­gan metallers hold a mir­ror to their past CHRIS CHANTLER

Pro­lific multi-in­stru­men­tal­ist An­dreas Hed­lund has mas­ter­minded Swe­den’s Vin­ter­sorg for over 20 years, this one-time one-man-band main­tain­ing a reg­u­lar sched­ule of in­ter­est­ing long-play­ers since 1998 de­but Till Fjälls hit a high water­mark of melodic black/folk/Vik­ing me­tal. Af­ter dab­bling in more cos­mic, pro­gres­sive forms they’ve grad­u­ally rein­te­grated their orig­i­nal blue­print, so much so that Vin­ter­sorg – now a three-piece – have hap­pily re­turned to their much-loved windswept de­but to frame their 10th al­bum as a se­quel (or, as An­dreas puts it, a “lost twin”). A bold move, but you can’t deny the band the urge to con­tinue a saga across decades, par­tic­u­larly when the re­sult is such a dy­namic ref­or­ma­tion of atavis­tic shapes. The four songs on disc two are fas­ci­nat­ing new ar­range­ments of ideas dat­ing back to the mid-90s, com­ple­ment­ing new ma­te­rial beau­ti­fully. What could have been a con­trived, back­ward­look­ing ex­er­cise in fan­boy­pleas­ing ends up a pos­i­tive cel­e­bra­tion of the band’s early im­pulses, toned, re­shaped and given new im­pe­tus by years of ex­per­i­ment and ex­pe­ri­ence.

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