Review: Forgotten Winter – Vinda
For all you dungeon crawlers, accept this quest and walk with us through this desolation.
What’s very interesting in the black metal genre is how multiples perceptions the artists have made with it. A while ago, some of the Toilet ov Hell commenters where debating about how emotive can be some songs in this music, and I must adhere to their stance and sharing this new example of why black metal is still relevant due to it ever-changing nature.
Hailing from Portugal, the duo Forgotten Winter will release a new album, titled Vinda, in which they really expand their mix between folk, ambient and black metal. I had the opportunity to sit multiple times with this album and this is my opinion on it:
Vinda is an interesting ride through a fantasy plane in which the desolation is ever present. In each song you will encounter each chapter of the multiple stories of this plane: you’re introduced to the profound corners of the Uldene ruins, there’s war between the Human Race and the Hastuvv, and you will also encounter Gods, enter three moons and witness the arrival of the venerable Velmaer. The band serves as dark bards, and they’re exploring this setting through their narrative, entwining chorus with melodies and ancient percussion to show you what happened in the beginning and the end of two eras.
The lyrics are written in a mix of Portuguese and a self-created dialect called Velmaer. This particular element is what gives cohesion to the entire title. The chorus and the shrieking shouts are what it finish the immersion process of the listener. The vocal department is very well done, the black metal sections have a reverb effect that makes them echo through the air and giving a much more ethereal sounds, meanwhile, the chants allow a majestic feel in the section that are needed. According to the compositions, the arrangement of those elements is simple, yet effective. Think of the vocal melodies on the neofolk area and you will have the aproximation.
Uldene and Nevoa serve as introduction to the record and really explain how it’ll be the rest.
In the first track, you will hear the acoustics of the percussion which rings across the album with tribal precision. The wind instrument sounds will alert you in the first seconds that you’re entering in a vast land. And then, some black angular guitar riffing will circulate around the keyboards to reveal you the textures and the impressions of a destroyed city. From this I think you probably will get reminded a lot of the old Dungeon Synth expression, a lot of synths harmonized with long droning sounds to engulf you into a humid barrack, which is a great feeling for the narrative architecture the band made here for their vision.
In Penumbra, the sounds are more mysterious and adventurous. Through the darkness, the percussion once again dictates the course of the song and let the synths compete very well with the chorus and the final portion with the magic speech. The three parts makes the piece one of the most enjoyable of the album, because it’s full of dynamics and the drum work is very good. Hints of Burzum and Erang would be a solid choice to understand this composition.
The two final pieces, Adamaele and Vinda use the same resources, but are more rooted in a grandiose and symphonic side. With the usage of female vocals in the chorus the sounds are expansive and give the pieces a delicate feeling. If your journey started in Uldene, you’ve got to delve in darkness in Penumbra, Adamaele and Vinda must be the epic conclusion of that trip. The final chants resumes the entire journey, it’s a very impressive setting due to the echoes of the voices.
The colors and shapes of the entire album are very reminiscent of the album cover art, with browns, greens, blacks and blues permeating the waves of the synths. I think they really did a good work making this, based on the instrument choices. The natural percussion immersed me into their artistic vision.
As you can hear, Vinda is an exploration of the textures of the synths along the black metal and neofolk parts to have a more textural feeling of the diverse elements in playing; if you connect all the pieces you will have a very thoughtful travel through the desolation. For those wanderers and scholars of the dark arts, or for fans of Windir, Summoning or Burzum, Forgotten Winter has a very good recollection so you can master your magick.
If you dig it, remember to stab this band in a medieval style in his Book ov Skulls Official page and in Google Más. Vinda will be released this June 26, you can pre-order this record through the Bandcamp of SlowDriver Productions or from Itunes.