Vintersorg, "Till Fjalls"
I've been lucky enough to score both Cosmic Genesis and Till Fjalls at the Metal Haven's used bin, and damn, am I happy. Majestic and soaring, this is an obvious pre-cursor to Cosmic Genesis but it still has all the parts that make Genesisd such a special record. Of course, Vintersorg was still showing some rough edges in both production and songwriting, but that just gave him something to polish for Genesis. He sings exclusively in Swedish and handles all the instruments himself except drums, which are uncredited [drum machine, perhaps?].
Till Fjalls starts off with a short acoustic piece before moving into one of the best songs on the album, For Kung Och Fosterland, which effortlessly quotes Grieg's Hall of the Mountain King in the bridge and further solidifies the link between metal and classical. Andreas Frank lays down a wicked lead on this song as well. Vintersorg's vocals on the verse of Bilmarkens Fortollande Stammor sound too deep, but he makes up for it with the higher chorus and a nice keyboard driven middle section. The title track begins with a piano progression that's regal, pretty and upbeat and is quickly joined by fluttering kick drums and nice vocal melodies. The chorus is muscular and dramatic and also shows off some gorgeous vocal arranging and improvisation on the fade out. Jokein features a good dose of Vintersorg's black-metal rasp and song-writing, but resolves into the tension of the chorus before opening into spacious middle section. The album closes with the pulsing classical overtones of Fangad Utav Nordens Sjal. This song features melodic riffless music that basically just supports Vintersorg's folkish melodies and some truly beautiful singing of Cia Hedmark [who reminds me a bit of the girl who sang on Anathema's Serenades].
All in all, it's a solid album that clearly burned the path to Cosmic Genesis.
For Kung Och Fosterland