2 years ago
Storm Seeker (2011) - Storm Seeker
So I recently found out about Vortex’s solo album!
ICS Vortex is a Norwegian musician typically known for his roles in Black Metal bands such as Dimmu Borgir, Borknagar, and Arcturus. His name is actually a parody off one of Garm’s (Ulver) many aliases, Fiery G. Maelstrom. He is a very talented vocalist, able to hit a wide range of notes with a somewhat unique and distinct ghostly sounding voice. Until recently, he’s been the bassist and backing vocals for Dimmu but for whatever reason, he was kicked from the group. As a result, he decided him to pick up his former projects in Borknagar and Arcturus. Arcturus, being a personal favorite of mine, almost convinced me to up and leave for Norway (somehow?) in April for their show at the Inferno Metal Festival. If you’re curious, a great display of Vortex’s vocal range and capabilities in Arcturus can be heard in the song ‘The Chaos Path’.
Anyway, when I found this album, I didn’t really know what to expect. While I respect Vortex as a vocalist, Dimmu Borgir and Borknagar never truly caught my interest. However, since I haven’t really been able to stop listening to the album ‘Storm Seeker’, I can say that it’s easily one of my tops (since my Nightwish & Devin Townsend phases months earlier).
The album is a progressive rock/metal mix, and offers a very distinct sound (Thanks mostly to Vortex’s unique voice). The lyrics are a huge part of my enjoyment of this album, often sounding somewhat poetic and metaphorical. I really do encourage anyone listening to this album to read the lyrics for a complete appreciation. Each song sounds distinct from the rest, which is more than I can say for many of the albums I’ve listened to recently. I can see this kind of music not being everyone’s taste, but it’s worth at least a listen. I linked the title song ‘Storm Seeker’ because it’s probably the easiest to get into for someone not into the whole Norwegian metal thing.
It’s hard to single out any songs to recommend since there are few weak points in the album, but I was introduced to ‘Skoal !’ (Skål - Cheers) first, and that’s what hooked me in. I love the lyrics for both ‘Odin’s Tree’ and ‘Dogsmacked’, and ‘Flaskeskipper’ is actually in Norwegian (which is a bonus for me). But really, the whole album is solid. Listen to it!