Only little over a year ago, Vintersorg’s previous effort Jordpuls saw daylight. Although mastermind Andreas Hedlund seems to be a busy guy (also being a band member of Borknagar, that released the album Urd earlier this year) we are now presented with the eighth studio album from this Swedish band, Orkan (meaning hurricane).

For the readers of Forbidden Magazine who are unfamiliar with Vintersorg, it’s a well known folk metal band that established itself with the records Till Fjälls and Ödemarkens Son in particular.

The music you hear on Orkan is rather in the same style as the recent albums Solens Rötter and Jordpuls. It combines the progressive elements of Vintersorg (predominantly on “Visions from the Spiral Generator” and “The Focusing Blur”) with their trademark folk roots. For example, opener “Istid” (but also title track Orkan) is an accessible, melodic song with very catchy clean vocals. Typical Vintersorg characteristics are present: the alternation between clean vocals and grunts and the use of other instruments like the violin.

Other tracks, like Ur Stjärnstoft Är Vi Komna or Myren, clearly demonstrate a more innovative (and sometimes unusual) approach. While I like the up-tempo, ‘easy’ tunes, I prefer these complex songs. They just sound more enthralling. Anyhow, the variety in ‘catchy’ and ‘progressive’ songs works out great. After a nice tune, you’ll be challenged by a more dynamic track, which makes it all the more interesting to listen to.

From up-tempo songs, to a melancholic atmosphere in “Norrskenssyner” and tracks with a progressive feel: there is hardly a moment where you could call this album weak. For fans of (recent) Vintersorg material: this is a safe album. Also if you like a bit of folk (and I do not mean the bouncy pagan/folk Korpiklaani/Eluveitie/Ensiferum stuff) blended with your metal, you should check Orkan. I’m curious about what their next effort will bring us, another album in a similar style or will Vintersorg venture off again into other territories. Let’s wait and see!

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