Here we have VINTERSORG's awaited follow-up to his masterpiece "Cosmic Genesis". A fair bit has changed since then. First of all, there is a real band playing the music this time around. There is now a real, human drummer, as opposed to the drum machine used in the past. While the machine was used quite well on previous albums, nothing can compare to Asgeir from BORKNAGAR. Also, handling the bass on this album is Steve DiGiorgio (TESTAMENT, DEATH, etc.). These two extra members really make a difference to the sound.
Second, the overall style of music has been altered. While some can argue that most folk elements were absent on "Cosmic Genesis", they are even less on this album. Instead, Mr.V has further explored the musical areas only touched upon in his previous effort. In fact, the only two songs that bear any real resemblance to this style are "Spegelsfaren" and "A Star-Guarded Coronation". The music is much more progressive, yet a little more aggressive, even downright brutal ("Trance Locator"), and is much more involving. Some would even call it weird ("ESP Mirage").
This is not background music, folks. In fact, the complexity of the music may be a turn-off to many, as it was for me on my initial listen. However, the second listen surprised me as I started to "get" the album. And with each listen, more and more layers were/are revealed. It is also clear that Mr.V has taken some influence from his time spent with BORKNAGAR ("Universums Dunkla Alfabet", "The Explorer"), however, I would not call this BORKNAGAR II, as some seem to be saying.
Vintersorg's voice has expanded on each and every album. And this one is no exception. His range is the largest it's ever been; yet he can still growl with the best of 'em. He's still testing the limits of his vocal chords, which can be a blessing as well as a curse, as it takes some real patience to swallow parts like the opening of "ESP Mirage."
"Visions From The Spiral Generator" does not top "Cosmic Genesis", but then again, I did not expect it to. But this album comes in at a close second, and that's fine with me. (Online September 28, 2002)