Yesterday I found myself in the familiar position of wanting to discover some new metal, but not having anything in mind to try out. Part of my “discovery process” is the old tried and true method of scouring the advertisements for upcoming albums in the various metal magazines like Decibel, Metal Hammer and Terrorizer. They all tend to know about upcoming releases before I do, and when I see something that looks interesting I make a note for later. I hadn’t made any notes lately, but I did have some recent issues I hadn’t looked through yet, so lucky for me some of the albums were already released. Based on that method I picked up this Vinterblot album as well as albums by King Giant and Herratik.
I have to say that I’m fairly impressed by this debut from the Italian Viking death metal band Vinterblot. Almost as soon as I heard “Nether Collapse” the name Amon Amarth rocketed to the forefront of my mind. There are differences between the two to be sure, but the musical style combined with the epically huge harsh vocals guarantees that the comparison will be made. Honestly, I don’t care who they sound like, I’m just enjoying the album on the merits of what I’m hearing.
Often the drums are fast and the guitars over top of them are also fast and mildly melodic. At other times it slows down and takes on an epic militaristic feel. Through it all the deep harsh vocals of Phanaeus loom like a frost giant on a mountaintop shouting his displeasure down on the mortals below.
For a full-length debut the production is quite good. That was a big part of what made me decide to pick up this album; most young Viking metal bands do not sound this good right out of the gate. If this is what they sound like now, how awesome will they be several albums from now when they’ve become more seasoned? I hope we have the opportunity to find out.