Vinterriket - Gebirgshohenstille [Displeased Records - 2008]Gebirgshohenstille finds one man German black metal/ ambient project Vinterriket focusing more on the atmospheric ambient keyboard side of his sound to create 6 sonic hymns to the loneliness and beauty of the mountain scapes, with only two tracks having blacked guitar and vocal tones on them.
The tracks come off as a mix of typical yet atmospheric black metal synth unfolds, sombre take on Popol Vuh or Tangerine Dream type ambience, With field recordings of wind and mountain sound like textures shifting back and forth over the pieces. The tracks go from highly effective, beautiful and awe inspiring as if one was standing on a tall mountain looking over the world, to darker and slow sonic climbs with the feeling weariness and approaching night time. Through individuallly many tracks are enjoyable and effective as a whole the tracks do tend to be a little samey in their unfold and progression, too little is done to add in new textures and layers of sound so more often then not it will seemingly drift on and on at the same pace with the same synth sound from one track to the next.There are attempts later on to add in piano tones and other sounds, but it feels all a little too late. It may have helped if he had mixed in the Black Metal tracks more evenly instead of near the beginning and at the end of the album.
Certainly some effective and atmospheric moments on display but as a whole album it becomes too familiar and samey for its own good. Though I would be interested in hearing some more of his work as he really has a way with creating pieces that hover both in beauty and great loneliness.Roger Batty