WATERCLIME – Imaginative

  • 5/10
    WATERCLIME - Imaginative - 5/10


Lion Music
Release Date: October 19, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Followers of the Scandinavian Metal Scene know the name Andreas Hedlund, or at least his aliases Mr. V or Vintersorg. As a musician and producer he made himself a name with Borknagar where his Black Metal and Death Metal roots are still recognizable. More importantly for the sound of Waterclime is his other well known band Vintersorg, which began as a Black Metal / Folk Metal chimaira and mutated towards more Progressive sounds and experiments. Andreas’ Progressive vein is apparent in Waterclime, culminating the obvious musical retro-influences previously audible in Vintersorg and the latest Borknagar album, and even more in Waterclime’s debut album, so that Imaginative left Hedlund’s Heavy Metal roots completely and circles around planet 70’s Prog.

Mr. V. does acknowledge these influences freely, so if one has a soft spot for Yes, Genesis, Marillion, Jethro Tull, and Uriah Heep, this is an album worth considering. Musically, all the necessary trademarks are there: the old fashioned organ of Heep, and the Folk flute of Tull, the typical guitar sound of the Seventies as well as the laid back compositorial tranquility of Yes. Hedlund, who played all instruments himself, only varies this recipe with a few Jazz influences, and frankly, those are the parts that make the album interesting. While the musical effort overall is nice, the compositions sound very much alike. Even after several spins, you have to look at the tracklist to find out which of the album’s eight compositions you’re currently listening. Mainly the absence of catchy, memorable choruses is to blame for that, as each individual song qualifies for a “not bad,” but always fails to fully excite.

Experiments are undertaken frequently, but they never take the lead, and reveal themselves only to the attentive audience. As always, the common song structure remains dominant, which results in the fact that one will still discover new facets of the song after several spins. Only that is not because the song is so overly diverse and complicated; it is more because one tends to overhear details in the course of Imaginative. While during the first two tracks breaks and changes in style still will catch your attention, “The Angel And The Fireball” and the poppy “Moonstream Portrait” mark the point where concentration fades. Right after that the highlights of the album appear; the tracks which are most experimental, Jazz-influenced and overcoming the traditional boundaries of Seventies’ Prog: “Starshine Theater” and the best song of the album, “A Journey To The Center Of The Soul.” The remainder of Waterclime’s second release cannot keep that level up, and therefore the album ends a little disappointingly as the following tracks are similar in structure, instrumentation, and mood to the opening compositions.

Andreas Hedlund’s voice also is not more than okay, and his Black and Death Metal projects always sounded better, surely due to the use of effects and the supporting guitar walls connected to that style. For such atmospheric material as he wrote for this album, a more versatile singer would be desirable who could shape each song more individually. Still, this is by no means a bad album, and almost each song by itself would deserve a slightly higher score, only for an artist like Mr. V where expectations are quite high, this average release as a whole cannot meet them.

Recommended for the Prog enthusiast who might add a point to the score, Borknagar fans should instead subtract one …


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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