VINTERRIKET – Horizontmelancholie

VINTERRIKET – Horizontmelancholie

Origin: Germany
Genre: Ambient Folk Acoustic
Label: Heimatfolk
Year: 2009

“Horizontmelancholie” is the last full-length from Vinterriket. If you have heard about them, you would probably already know that there are countless releases from this German one man band. Many collections, re-releases from different labels etc, make it difficult for someone to count, but I think this is the eighth full-length album (if “Zeit-Los:Laut-Los” counts as a full length).

Christophe Ziegler is the man behind this band and he has also two other projects, Nebelkorona and Atomtrakt, but Vinterriket is his main and most productive band. He formed them back in 1996 and his music varies from album to album. Of course the majority of his music is dark nature inspired ambient, but there are also songs or whole albums where he offers us melodic ambient black metal. He is equally good in both genres and in my opinion his ambient music is the best and most personal I have ever listened to… He really manages to captivate the dark melancholic side of nature in his songs in a very pure and direct way and his sound is very characteristic, whether it’s dark ambient or ambient black metal.

Whenever a new album is out now, I usually don’t know if it will be a black metal or an ambient release, but this time I was informed it will be an acoustic release. In order to be honest, I was somehow afraid of repetition (due to the large amount of his songs all these years), but my fears soon vanished. “Horizontmelancholie” is very different from his previous works! His ambient music has a much more acoustic orientation this time. There are no black metal guitars or other metal elements in his music (except maybe for some whispered screams in some parts). Acoustic guitars make a very interesting appearance in this album, revealing a new Vinterriket face. Of course the characteristic sound of the band is still dominant, synths and whispered vocals are still around, but under a fresh “filter”, tied very well with the new elements. Some of the songs are more ambient (the opening and closing tracks), some more dark, other much more acoustic… He also uses very beautiful clean vocals and sometimes his music brings in mind something from Empyrium, or acoustic Falkenbach songs! All of his seven compositions are brilliant and have their own identity, but my personal favourite is “Wogen des Firmamentes” with its captivating sad melody and the excellent clean vocals. I think that “Horizontmelancholie” is the most interesting recent album from Vinterriket and surprised me in a very pleasant way.

I totally recommend this album to all Vinterriket fans and all fans of dark folk ambient music. It is released in a dual format disc: one side is the CD and the other side a DVD with video-clips for all the songs of the album! The clips are more like slideshows of pictures and small videos with black & white dark landscapes and it’s actually the visual presentation of what this music brings in mind. The CD is released by Heimatfolk in a beautiful digipak with the classic Vinterriket artwork (black/white nature photography) in a 16 page booklet. It is limited in 2000 copies, while 150 of them are in Black Wooden Box that contains the CD, together with many extras (t-shirt, flag, sticker, onyx stone, wood wool, etc.) You can visit their official pages for music samples and more info.


Rating:  (9/10)


Originally published on HeavyMetalCosmos


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