Und die Nacht kam schweren Schrittes

(Regimental/Parasite Rec.)


MARK: 90/100


Vinterriket are a German band I hadn't heard before owing to the fact they've not been around long and mostly because of the limited copies of each release from them (from 50 to a maximum of 1000), which are actually a great deal; as a matter of fact they're about 25 at this very period, and the first demos date back to 2000 only; christdammit! this is true creativeness and marked sense of unwaste of material...

Their style is not easy to be described, it might be described as a mix of early Mortiis and Vond, but if you look at the cover and back cover you'll have a clear idea of the fact that the seasons, and especially winter, and then nature, especially forests, have a strong influence on Vinterriket's inspiration. So many legends talk about spirits or hidden powers in some parts of some forests. And if these were true and they possessed a somebody's mind and soul, how would they consequently write and play songs?

"Boten der Rückkehr" is cold-blooded and inquieting; will really make your spine freeze, "Visionen Nächtliecher Fluten" and "Die Ruinen des Jenseits" could be the right backgrounds for a funeral or a film/documentary in morgues about anatomy pathologists, that is for example for cult director Robert Adrian Pejo's great "Der Weg Nach Eden" 's hopeful sequel, or Dick Maas's "De Lift"'s sequel, thanks to the use of the keyboards here and the background noises, which a rather joyful, rhythmed and middle-ages-like motif joins with.

"Im Sog der Feuer des Schicksals" has again sadness veinings, this time mixed with heavenly, romantic or majestic keyboard carpets, rich in shades, entwined with slow lugubrious throbbing; at the end of the almost 12 minutes of the track we have obscurity reigning supreme one more time.

Not one single solitary second of "Kosmische Schattenspiele" is not glacial and hypnotic, while I guess very few dark/ambient fans will be able to resist the damned charm of the dirge entitled "Raben über dem Grab der Vollendung"; over 10 minutes, with involving church organ sounds good for (might it be different?) a funeral, followed by a 'synthetic' twisting, then delicate is the close.

Every feeling is touched in this album, still I have to admit it's the anguish taking the lion's share.. Only keyboards and sometimes a drum machine added to the other sounds and structures ("...zurück blieb nur die ewige Schwärze"), never a pale trace of a voice.

A record for pure gloomy, romantic and sensitive souls, for all the others (most of the people on this dying planet) an unbearable torment that won't let them arrive at the end of the longest compositions.

When dealing with Vinterriket everything loses importance and the shapes merge into another. When does death begin? Already before we are grown in a uterus or only after death as we know? Does a soul exist? And if so, where does it go in case of death or of a NDE? What's an astral journey like? Are there other evolved forms of life in the universe? Does mankind know the whole power of nature or shall we have to wait for bigger and more frightening disasters led by the spirits of the forests, pissed off with us? Vinterriket seem to have an answer for all of these fascinating questions...