Vinsta – Drei Deita Review

Vinsta - Drei Deita 01Sometimes metal is addictive in its brutality. Sometimes it is so technically impressive that we come back to it time and time again. Other times, it’s catchy, burrowing its hooks into our helpless brains and infecting us from within. But, in my own opinion, the best metal is simply compelling; it has an abstract quality about it that draws you in and becomes increasingly rewarding with every subsequent listen. So it was with Drei Deita (Three Foreboders), the second full-length release from Vinsta, a solo project from Austria’s Christian Höll. This is an album of progressive melodeath; one that imbues a story with music masterfully and has commanded many returns from me in the weeks I’ve had it, becoming better and better with each one.

When I call Drei Deita an album of “progressive melodeath,” I do so because I’m not sure how else to accurately describe it. It contains all of the elements necessary of melodic death metal: Höll’s icy riffing manages to be both heavy and powerful (“Raunocht”), as well as catchy (“Tiafn”) as songs demand. He alternates between cold rasps and emotional clean singing throughout, using each to great effect. Meanwhile, the folk elements of the project feel unique; the violins and clean vocals from Moni Hahn, the occasional yodelling, and the fact that lyrics are written in a primeval Austro-Bavarian dialect all defy easy classification in the “folk” umbrella. Combined with a clear, stripped-down approach to songwriting and production, and I really don’t know what else to call it. If Windir and Crown of Autumn ever got together and explored the Austrian wilderness together, I imagine the resulting artistic output would sound something like this. So… progressive melodeath.

But is it good progressive melodeath? In case I haven’t given it away already, is absolutely is. Drei Deita is an album of impeccable flow, gorgeous storytelling, and strong musical ability. After a short introduction, “Weisse Deckn” (“White Mantle”) explodes into life with compelling riffs, icy rasping, and the aforementioned yodelling. Throughout its nine minutes, the song transitions between soaring leads (vocal and guitar), quiet violins, and powerful death-esque passages. The concluding guitar and violin leads are powerful in catchy simplicity, and the song is the ideal template for the rest of the album to follow. Some songs, like “Oafocha Loda” (“Simple Man”) and “Drei Deita,” incorporate acoustic guitars, either wholly or partially, to augment their sound, and the results are impressive. Others, like “Raunocht,” (“Harsh Night”) are punishing, leaning as close to death metal as Vinsta gets without abandoning the artist’s intangible, unique style that sets his music apart.

Vinsta - Drei Deita 02Not every element of Drei Deita is perfect or outstanding, but the cohesion, flow, and unity of the album as a whole make it easy to return to time and time again. Vinsta have created an album in which every track builds on the previous one, and the whole is better than the sum of its parts in a Sólstafir-like way. Despite the linguistic barrier present lyrically, the senses of coldness, longing, and flow are clear across the album. “Tiafn” (“Depth”), the last “proper” song on the album, is a moving journey that represents the clear climax of the album musically and lyrically, and the way it is bolstered by the six preceding tracks is something special. Listening to individual tracks reveals some weaknesses – a few, such as “Raunocht,” go on too long, and some tracks are less gripping in isolation as when part of the complete fifty-minute album. Taken as a whole, however, Drei Deita masks its own shortcomings (few as they are) under a remarkable cohesion that I’ve heard from few albums this year.

So the next time you, a fan of melodeath who could do with being taken away for a spell, feel the urge to get away for a bit, I would heartily recommend visiting Vinsta’s world in Drei Deita. Follow this wanderer as he faces a cold, unforgiving natural landscape and discovers a perspective larger and grander than himself as he meets three foreboders who change his life just in time for its end. Drei Deita is something different, a real grower, and a promising album that takes you on a welcome journey into the unknown. I have enjoyed my time with it greatly, and do increasingly so with every subsequent adventure.


Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Self Release1
Websitesvinsta.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/vinstawiads
Released Worldwide: October 18th, 2019

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  1. Really?!
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