Genre : Atmospheric black metal / Ambient
Release : February 4th 2014.
Here is something you may have missed on the beginning of 2014 : Vindensång's second release, Alpha. However, it's not too late to check this album out, and you should do so. If you already listened to the band, it's probably with their first full length, Terminus : Rebirth in eight parts... which has been reviewed on this blog already (although it's an old review which may be reworked with the new model in a near future). That first full-length was for sure something difficult to tag and to apprehend... to say the least, it wasn't an easy listening. Alpha is much more accessible, closer to the standards, without loosing Vindensång's very essence. This is definitely a good point and a step forward.
Blending as much ambient as metal, this album is some of the softest black metal I've ever heard. It's up to you of course, but if you enjoy atmospheric black metal mostly for its atmospheric tag, Alpha could be your next album to buy. Drawing inspiration from the oceanic theme, the least I can say is that Vindensång has been successfully putting pictures into sounds. Yes, Alpha definitely sounds aquatic. It sounds like a calm sea on ambient interludes or the superb outro, 'Water-bearer'. It sounds like a raging ocean when it goes metal, on the end of 'Lights of the abyss' for example, however it's always done a smooth and delicate way. Probably thanks to a very thought-over production, there's not a second of real aggressivity throughout the album. Vocals are ranging from whispers to quite classic black metal ones, but are mostly both at the same time, as heard on 'Within the womb of creation'. Guitars are actually more post-rockish than metal, and drums are mostly soft. If you're into endless blastbeating, you will be disappointed here, but that's definitely not what Alpha is about. It's more about ambient sounds, which are incredibly well-arranged as they successfully give their sense and essence while being very minimalistic.
Successfully merging all the aforementioned elements, 'Within the womb of creation' could be your starting point with this album. At least, you shouldn't drop Alpha before listening to that 19 minutes masterpiece, moving from relaxing ambient parts to peaceful yet powerful black metal (yeah, it makes sense!), all with a clever songwriting. Unusual and inspiring, Vindensång's second release surely is something to add to your discography if you're into contemplative, meditative atmospheric black metal and coherent, well-thought concept albums.
Personal highlights : Within the womb of creation, Water-bearer.
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