Some musicians really love their job. Sweden's Andreas Hedlund [a.k.a. Vintersorg] is one of them. Having explored the scene with black metal outfit Borknagar and his own band Vintersorg for years, he went on with a few side-projects. Hard to believe that a guy with a band named solely after him would release a solo project under a different name, but the nature of the music encountered on The Astral Factor totally justifies it.
Waterclime is 100% master Hedlund as he recorded all instruments for the album and it is utterly different from his other projects seeing that it has nothing to do with black metal, progressive metal and actually it barely touch the metal boundary. The songs are all very interesting acoustic musings that touch various genres from folk to pop rock to classic rock. The keyboard parts are even reminiscent of Deep Purple in parts.
But mostly, the atmosphere induced by this album is fantastically positive and uplifting. That clean guitar sound and his soulful voice ship your worries away like no other record. Whenever you feel blue and alone, you would love to have such an uplifting album to pop in your stereo that you will end up partying on the beach with friends.
Vintersorg strikes again. In a totally different genre, with a touch of grace and a lot of courage The Astral Factor showcases an interesting side of Hedlund's approach to music and I hope he brings some of that back into his main band. This album is for the open-minded listener. Its non-intrusive great melodies and beautiful singing packaged make for strangely relaxing tunes to spend a harmonious day on Earth. Oh I wish it were longer…