Vetterkult, the newest album from Norway’s Vetter, is one of those albums that just misses on almost all marks. It’s one of the classic albums that builds up to a crescendo but falls short of being dynamic. When the elements and ideas come together on Vetterkult, the album works well. Unfortunately, those moments are not as often as they should be and the end result is an album that is largely underwhelming.

Haarvard Tveito, the man behind every instrument on the album, has some splendid ideas, particularly when he goes the melodic/folk routes. But those positives are brought down by the sweeping, droning Cascadian style of black metal in the vein of Wolves in the Throne Room, Agalloch, etc, but in the case of Vetter, the music doesn’t go anywhere meaningful. Most of the time when the songs drone on, they drone for what seems like an ice age and it becomes incredibly boring.

There is a ton of talent within the mind of Tveito, though. His skills on the strings are superb and he can certainly add some thick atmosphere to his tunes. His music paints a bleak picture of despair and anguish perfectly but again; those strengths are weakened by a lack of direction in terms of overall song structure. Maybe if Tveito hired on a few blokes to add some dimension or different flavors into the mix, the end result would be a more dynamic listen rather than one that finds itself stuck in the mud on too many occasions.

Though the overall sound of Vetterkult is clean, it’s still raw enough to sound abrasive when it needs to and it captures the mood of each individual passage. However, the programmed drums suck the life out many of the tracks on the album, the Achilles Heel of too many one-man bands.

In the end, Vetterkult is an album full of potential that unfortunately shoots itself in the foot too often. While it’s not a lousy album by any means, it just doesn’t hit the ball out of the park when there are so many opportunities for it do just that.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Mike Sloan
May 31st, 2012


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