"Vinterriket / Northaunt" (Flood the Earth Records; 2005)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

This split CD, featuring Vinterriket and Northaunt, showcases these two bands delving deep into the ambient sounds of what I truly envisioned black metal purists might be aiming for if guitars had never been invented. Keyboards and synthesizers are the order of the day I don't even think much in the way of percussion is used either.

The four Vinterriket tracks (the odd numbered tracks for those of you keeping score at home) are aptly described as cold hypnotic black metal this is truly bleak stuff. The first track is pure ambience almost like a consistent, moderate winter wind blowing through varied terrain. The second track brings a more piano-like sound which plays out as a classical piece or the closing credits in a movie. The third track brings a more esoteric element to the band's seemingly endless ambient soundscapes this track has a more somber tone to it oddly enough. The fourth track would be a decent enough closer for the four Vinterrekit tracks but it also serves as a good closer for the split CD as well long sustained swells of keyboards (think church organs) rise over very low rumbles as if the air was being moved by a rolling earthquake.

The three Northaunt tracks (the even numbered tracks, obviously) aren't that much different than Vinterriket. Northaunt are more synthesizer driven (compared to Vinterriket, anyway, if such a thing were possible) and have Halloween-like, eerie noises that are more fitting of a horror movie than anything else. Northaunt also feature some vocals albeit not of the traditional kind that are spoken word in a manner that evokes movie dialogue.

The "Vinterriket/Northhaunt" split CD was compiled by Flood The Earth Records from each band's previous efforts on labels such as Cyclic Law Records, Fluttering Dragon Records, and other unreleased material. Knowing that Northaunt might be defunct and that I've got another Vinterriket release to listen to I can say with definitive interest that I am intrigued by what Vinterriket has to offer and I look forward to listening to their music again in the near future.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 19 Jul 2020 14:27:18 -0400 .