Label: Heimatfolk - HF 07 • Format: Hybrid DualDisc, Promo • Country: Austria • Genre: Electronic, Rock • Style: Dark Ambient, Neofolk
Best viewed without Internet Explorer, in x resolution or higher. In Christoph Ziegler, the man behind Vinterriket, graced us with Horizontmelancholie. Most of Souvenirs Del Sol - Debbie - Souvenirs Del Sol releases are in limited edition, each being a unique and individual work of art.
This release is no different; here we find a 7 song cd on one side of the disc and a DVD on the other side. Earlier works were subtle mixtures of Dark Ambient and Black Metal. Here we discover more of a Neofolk sound combined with Ambient. That an artist is willing to venture into different varieties of music is welcoming. Although formed init can be said the Vinterriket has not settled for one sound.
Each recording is distinctive, and each seems to show growth as Christoph Ziegler as a musician. To explain this work as a whole would be to describe it as a homage to nature in all its complexities. Acoustic guitars and clean vocals give a pensive but graceful sound to every song. The Ambient touches Schattengeräusche - Vinterriket - Horizontmelancholie (Hybrid) used skillfully to provide the wintery forest atmosphere. Each piece conveys the feelings of isolation, coldness and emptiness.
That being said there is also an expansive and majestic ambience that is conveyed. Watching Schattengeräusche - Vinterriket - Horizontmelancholie (Hybrid) DVD while listening to the music gave a first-hand look how the songs were to be interpreted. It is a striking composition of video and music. The beautiful scenery of dense forests, lakes, misty snow capped mountains and tumbling streams are enhanced by the somberness of the songs.
Within all these emotions there is an innocence to all this; not in a frivolous way but truly sincere. While this may be a tribute to the dark side of Mother Nature, there is also an uplifting and sacredness to it as well.
Originally posted at www. I am a major fan of the bleak ambient soundscapes created by black metal artists and those surrounding the scene, but in the wake of Mortiis going all darkwave and Fenriz not releasing any new material from his Neptune Towers projectI have had to turn outside the scene for my fix though the Cold Meat Industries, etc artists do it as well or better than anyone.
The exception is of course the prolific German Vinterriket, who has been responsible for scores of releases since the turn of the century. Demos, splits, EPs, and a good many albums, most of which range from dark, minimal environment to cutting, ultra raw black metal influence. Horizontmelancholie is his 8th full-length release, and good, as it provides an interesting crossroads of his work to date.
Horizontmelancholie retains Vinterriket's heavy use of synthesizers, but there are more lyrics than usual, and more drums and guitars. The lyrics are manly and German, but they can create a hypnotic lilt to the tracks as on "Herbstreich" and "Wogen des Firmamentes". Another artist whose production sensibilities have improved with age, this is the hugest sounding record of Vinterriket's career.
Gone is the raw gloss of his early years, and to some, this may detract from their enjoyment of the record. To a degree, I prefer his Schattengeräusche - Vinterriket - Horizontmelancholie (Hybrid) material for its darker tone, but Horizontmelancholie is an interesting album that held my attention King Porter Stomp - Bunny Berigan - Starting a few listens.
I would not listen to this over a Lichtschleier or his previous Zeit-Los:Laut-Los, but Boats For Burning - Rain Tree Crow - Rain Tree Crow was still a Schattengeräusche - Vinterriket - Horizontmelancholie (Hybrid) trip to take.
Recent albums have been released, some all ambient, some ambient with black metal masterfully interlaced within, but each one honing Ziegler's artistic craft. Some have chastised Ziegler for being stoic, seemingly not content with Ziegler's presumed "if it ain't broke, why fix it" attitude.
I, for one, have been consistently astounded by Vinterriket's frequent and magnificent albums, both old and new, and Horizontmelancholie is certainly no exception, Schattengeräusche - Vinterriket - Horizontmelancholie (Hybrid) least in terms of quality of output. For the first time, Vinterriket has chosen to adopt a simultaneous dark ambient and neo-folk sound. Stripped away are any and all signs of Vinterriket's black metal-sprinkled past, replaced with echoing and comforting acoustic guitar picking and chord strumming.
Completely gone are harsh and screamed vocals; in their place are warm, rich, spoken and sung lyrics that remind of Agalloch's John Haughm and Amorphis's former vocalist Pasi Koskinen. One thing that does remain, however, are the melancholy, bleeding, cold keyboard tones that define the core of Vinterriket's sound. On this record, even though I'm of the opinion that the Vinterriket machine was never broken, Ziegler has fixed and improved it beyond belief.
Whether you're a fan of much fervor, or new to Vinterriket, this is their magnum opus and deserves a listen. Opener "Schattengerausche" Shade Noises and closer "Waldkult" Forest Cult are virtually devoid of guitar, instead bookending Horizontmelancholie with chilling ambient compositions. The remaining five songs in between, all epic in scope and lasting up to eight minutes each, take the listener on a journey that is both exhilarating and depressing.
All five, including personal favorites "Irrlichterscheinung" Erring Schattengeräusche - Vinterriket - Horizontmelancholie (Hybrid) Phenomenon and "Wogen des Firmamentes" Waves of the Firmamentweave back and forth between ambient synth interspersed with whispered vocals, to folk singing and chanting layered on top of powerful, heartwrenching keyboard lines.
Whether Horizontmelancholie is the next evolutionary step for Vinterriket, or Schattengeräusche - Vinterriket - Horizontmelancholie (Hybrid) experimental album where Vinterriket steps outside their normal genre, is not known. Regardless, Horizontmelancholie is absolutely spellbinding in grandeur, and moreso than on previous offerings, feels like a cold and desolate musical embrace, Schattengeräusche - Vinterriket - Horizontmelancholie (Hybrid) one that feels comforting and safe all the while.
Gone are the distorted guitars, the black metal vocals and the wintry feel of the music. The distorted guitars have been replaced by acoustic ones. The black metal vocals have been replaced by clean, whispered and narrated ones and the wintry feel of the music by a dark and tranquil summery feel. The only element that has remained unchanged from past Vinterriket releases Shes Dead, Whats Your Excuse?
- The Ergon Carousel - Untitled EP the keyboard harmonies but they sound less cold on this album. Every song is rather slow in tempo and the songs bond together in a continuous fashion. However, after reading the lyrics I saw that some of them also talk about autumn and the coming onset of winter. The music itself brilliantly conveys the mood and style of the lyrics. The vocals are the biggest improvement when compared to previous Vinterriket releases.
The clean vocals are good and stay in key, with the whispers and narration adding a touch of mysticism. This album was a huge surprise from a band that seemed to have stagnated completely. It seems like old dogs can learn new tricks and for Vinterriket this change of style is both extremely radical and successful.
If you weren't won over by this band's previous stuff, this album just might the the one to make you change your mind. Now all Christoph needs to do is to come up with some new keyboard harmonies….
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