01. Världsalltets Fanfar 02. Klippor Och Skär 03. Till Dånet Av Forsar Och Fall 04. Mörk Nebulosa 05. Stjärndyrkan 06. Skogen Sover 07. Vindögat 08. Palissader 09. Eld Och Lågor
Vintersorg (the band) is the brainchild of prodigy Andreas Hedlund (a.k.a Vintersorg) and long-time associate Mattias Marklund. Together they have been producing quality folk metal releases with diverse flavors of Black Metal since 1998. Many fans rightfully regard the album Cosmic Genesis released in 2000 as their masterpiece. 2011's Jordpuls (English translation Earth's Pulse) is their 7th full-length album following an uncharacteristic 4-year hiatus since their previous effort Solens Rötter. They also seem to have given up on the idea of singing in English since The Focusing Blur, which is fine by me as it adds to the Nordic folk atmosphere.
If the artwork is any indication, we are in for one impressive experience. Things kick off in style with the opening track that seems to reclaim the spirit of olden times (Think somewhere between the sound of the album Till Fjälls and their work as Otyg). It's aggressive, progressive and full of folk elements and all over the place in a good way. The general mood pretty much stays on that positive note halfway through the entire album. Hedlund never fails to deliver quality vocals whether using clean vocals or otherwise. Songs like "Klippor Och Skär" and "Mörk Nebulosa" are there to remind us how unique and great Vintersorg sounds.
Overall though and sadly so, the album seems to never reach the heights it was yearning to. The second part of the album is a step down from the rest in my opinion, as if the guys ran out of steam halfway through the writing process and forced a few tracks to make it whole. Even a standout such as "Palissader" towards the end cannot re-establish the magic and the conclusion of the album evokes a feeling of unfinished business.
Another big complaint has to be the lack of depth in their sound. Especially when you consider that in some earlier incarnation of the band had musicians such as Steve DiGiorgio on bass and Asgeir Mickelson behind the kit. Hedlund holds his own on bass guitar but I really could do without the programmed drums. I understand they are practical and mostly adequate but I'm sure they could find a qualified drummer in Sweden to record those with more emotion.
It is clear that the Swedish band made an effort to come back to the old school sound full of folk elements. Some tracks definitely outdo the rest of the album in terms of catchiness and memorability. But as a whole, Jordpuls fails to impress despite the evident good intentions in display.