Orkan (Napalm Records)
VINTERSORG may be small, but they are mighty. The central heartbeat behind this band is ANDREAS HEDLUND- composer, keyboardist, vocalist and guitarist. Accompanying him on guitar is Mattias Marklund.This Swedish duo has released nine studio albums to date, since 1994. You may have seen Hedlund, who goes by the nickname, “Vintersorg,” fronting other bands such as: OTYG, BORKNAGAR, HAVAYOTH, FISSION, CRONIAN, and WATERCLIME.
In the world of classical music, my music teachers have encouraged me to always look up the translations of any non-English words in my music. Knowing all translations written into music gives a musician a much better idea of what kind of emotions they wish to portray. Thankfully, Napalm Records provided me with rough translations to the song titles for Orkan. The band name itself means “Winter Sorrow.”
The album titles read as follows in English:
1. “Ice Ages” (Istid)
2. “Out of Stardust We’re Born” (Ur Stjarnstoft Ar Vi Komna)
3. “The Polar Night” (Polarnatten)
4. “The Mire” (Myren)
5. “Hurricane” (Orkan)
6. “Mercy of the Ocean” (Havets Nad)
7. “Northern Light Visions” (Norrskenssyner)
8. “Prisioner of the Primal Weather” (Urvadersfangen)
Hedlund did a great job portraying the song titles through music. I have always appreciated how well-written Scandinavian metal can sound as frigid as the landscape it was written in. Orkan has a tasteful hybrid of progressive metal, folk metal, and a sprinkling of black metal. If you’re a nerd for complicated music like me, then this album is the one for you. Vocals soar above intricate instrumentals, and the keyboard playing is remarkably good. Every song on the album brings a new musical idea. There is no filler music on the album, and my ear was always surprised at what musical idea was going to happen next. With the unforeseen number of delays seen in releasing Wintersun’s album Time, Orkan is the album that could give Time a run for it’s money. My personal favorite track on the album is “Prisoner of the Primal Weather (Urvadersfangen)” and the beginning of that track has been stuck in my head all week. The only thing that would make this album better is if it came with a cute Swedish boyfriend and a vacation in Stockholm.
The Bottom Line: Orkan is the album that will challenge your folk metal collection.
by Rachel Hacker