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Three years have passed since Vintersorg's last album Naturbål was out and pretty much as always most of the time between records for this Northern Swedish unit is just filled with silence, which nevertheless is quite a remarkable behavior in regards of how important it seems to be for people in this day and age to be seen and heard on a regular basis and especially for artists who more than anything love to update their status or whereabouts on social media.
This time around a big chunk of this self-imposed invisibility has probably been set aside to come out with new songs for some sort of sequel to the 1998 record Till Fjälls and considering the fact that that album is still the most popular one in the band's discography I think it's quite easy to get a little bit too excited over a second chapter long before you have even listened to it, but maybe that's just a healthy reaction in order to build up the anticipation that the new material will hit you like a raging storm just like the prequel once did.
Musically Del II, I think, kind of follows the last couple of albums, yet with a nod to older stuff, and all kinds of different things are put to a foundation of folk metal. This effort is certainly a versatile making, because the music might in an instant change from frenzy to serenity and then back again to a furious state, both from one song to another as well as within the individual songs. The vocals regularly follow the flow of the music with two contrasting uniforms; one being the demonic state of Vintersorg and the other being his clean and a little bit talking side that he does so well.
Lyrically, it naturally goes more side by side with its almost 19 year older brother. The lyrics are consequently in Swedish and since I'm pretty well versed in that particular language it's easy to figure out that the words are often carefully chosen to come out with rather mysterious and dim themes and since the band hails from a town close to the Arctic circle, nature, snow and cold temperatures are subjects that frequently surround the songs.
I have listened to this album for at least 20 times and each and every time I felt that something changed when I got to the final 4 songs and it wasn't until I read the liner notes that I realized that those songs were partly written over 2 decades ago. It's not that I'm the one who likes to praise the first demo of a band, but those songs definitely have something special about them. It's not like they're really greater than the rest of the songs, but just think about it when you listen to them and see if you sense what I do too.
Is this Vintersorg's best album in years? Yes, I think so. It's got the right elements in there, the songs are placid from time to time and they contain a certain rawness that brings out something pristine and profound. Could this verdict be a result of the possible excitement I mentioned early on? No, not really, but I would be the first to admit that I think it's pretty cool, yet also a bold move, to make a part 2 of such an iconic album in the genre of folk metal.