Vinterland – Welcome My Last Chapter (1995)

Where did black metal go wrong? Like Western Civilization, it forgot the goal and the why and focused on the how in order to keep together a growing group of people who were more interested in being shopkeepers than warriors, kings, geniuses, and shamans.

If you make anything thrive, whether a company or social group or nation, the parasites show up. They come from all over, both within and without, and have no single “type.” They can do all of the procedures and methods of the founders, but not arrange them in a meaningful order that achieves some result in reality; they achieve only popularity and sales.

Vinterland assemble Gorgoroth, Immortal, Dissection, and At the Gates style riffs into an album that is simultaneously hard rock and disorganized. Led by the vocals, songs rotate through different scenes that do not relate to each other or some underlying object expressed by the song. It all started going wrong here.

Metal works when each song has a structure organized around its content, even if that content is just a cool riff and how another riff answers it. It fails when, like this, it aims so much for an aesthetic that it forgets the need for songs to be organized, and for that organization to mimic something in life. Instead you get typical modern emptiness, all surface with nothing within.

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9 thoughts on “Vinterland – Welcome My Last Chapter (1995)”

  1. Sem says:

    Ah, this was one of my favorite melodic bm albums…

    1. Like Ulver Nattens Madrigal and Satyricon Nemesis Divina, this was one of the bedshitters that converted black metal into carnival music with no central theme or direction. Enslaved weighed in a little later with their Pink Floyd influenced variety show music.

      1. i bet you wouldn’t say this to their faces

        1. Why would anyone want to be that rude? There’s a time and a place for album analysis and criticism, and it rarely makes sense to bring it up in a way that can damage the self-confidence of another.

      2. Sem says:

        I think it’s in the same vein as Sacramentum and Dawn and I like it for the same reasons I like those. It’s got a lot of good riffs and hooks and an overall engaging atmosphere. Great harmonic minor stuff that’s not catchy enough to cause such offense to the genre. Few if any are listening to or playing stuff like this anymore, opting instead for gimmicky Watain-like inverted triangle nonsense with bland meaningless riffing. That’s the real carnival.

        I do agree regarding those Satyricon and Ulver albums though, which have no good riffs, hooks, or atmosphere. Enslaved are just prog nerds who let their true colors show after awhile.

        1. It’s got a lot of good riffs and hooks and an overall engaging atmosphere. Great harmonic minor stuff that’s not catchy enough to cause such offense to the genre.

          Yes, but not organized into expressive or relevant songs.

          Maybe you can take an audio editor to it and improve it.

          I agree about the faux black metal… gimmickry all around, but still relatively small compared to the metalcore forgery perpetrated on metal fans.

    2. the texas sharpshooter says:

      well it sucks in Reality(tm)

  2. Ovarian Energy says:

    This style of black metal (So called Melodic Black Metal) is somewhat an enigma. When done well (Sacramentum or Dawn for e.g) it is some of the best material black metal has to offer, but the vast majority of releases in this style are as interesting and palatable as a mouthful of raw flour.

    1. No one wants to say it, so I will: the problem was Dissection. Once they got big with their Iron Maiden styled stuff, all the clones and labels were like, “Great! So it’s hard rock with melody and growling!” and got to work churning out the assembly line material.

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