I did not like the previous VINTERSORG-albums that much; for my taste they both were, compared to the first albums, a bit too far out in space both lyrically and musically. They were nevertheless good without question, but somehow they lacked something the first albums had.
So I did not expect album-of-the-year-material when I bought Solens Rötter. I expected a good album, not less, but also not more. And at first it seemed as if it was exactly that – a good album. Then, after listening to it some time more, I found that it was indeed a very good album. Something that I had felt was missing on the previous outputs of VINTERSORG was back; reminiscences of the good ol’ times of Till Fjälls became obvious and some of its magic sparkled anew, together with some new elements. It seemed as if Mr. Vintersorg merged his “old” with his “modern” style; to join the positive aspects of his other albums so far (maybe added a bit of his experience with BORKNAGAR) to record Solens Rötter.
But SR is far more than a collection of all the elements that VINTERSORG is made of. If you know the band you know and you expect that you’ll hear beautiful acoustic-guitar parts; Mr. Vintersorgs unmistakably clean voice as well as his growling and screaming; straight, blasting drum patterns as much as progressive beats which are sometimes on the edge of being drum-solos; calm melodies which interchange with impelling shredding guitars; and last but not least the one or the other sample or sound-effect or other gimmicks. This time there is more to it; in every song there is something underlining which adds a magical note to the album. Sometimes with melodies, sometimes with effects and strange instruments (I could swear I heard a Marimba somewhere). There are flutes, bongos, synths, chimes, a harp, violins and more, you name it, it’s probably on Solens Rötter. I guess most of them are artificial (prove me wrong?) but even if the songs are stuffed with these elements, they don’t obtrude themselves, you barely recognize them in the first place (hint: try listening with headphones, it’s worth it).
The melodies are calm, epic, monumental, simply beautiful. This is a positive album and I don’t mean cheesy. Some of the melodies are really weird (best example would be the calm intermission in “Från Materia Till Ande” and the instrumental “Vad Aftonvindens Andning Viskar” which is gorgeously spaced-out) but that is what makes Solens Rötter unique; the approach to harmonies and disharmonies are seldom heard and somehow – enlightened. The only thing that comes to my mind which could be compared to that somehow is IHSAHN’s The Adversary which could be called the Yin of the bright Yang that is Solens Rötter for both albums have a similar approach to brilliant compositions; IHSAHN’s TA being the darker album. And now please don’t make me explain the last sentence, just listen to Solens Rötter (best listen to The Adversary as well) and feel it.
01 – Döpt I En Jökelsjö