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A highly prolific one-man ambient black metal project, Vinterriket was the brainchild of Christoph Ziegler (an artist whose other ambient projects included Nebelkorona and Atomtrakt, and who was a keyboardist for Nocternity and had been a member of Graven). Begun in the Baden Württemberg region of Germany in 1996, Vinterriket (Scandinavian for "The Winter Realm") released its first demos in 2000. Over the next two years, Vinterriket would go on to release nearly 15 splits, EPs, and demos, many of which were of a limited release or were made up of some extravagant packaging. The first full-length from the project was seen in 2002. Entitled ...Und die Nach Kam Schweren Schrittes, it would be followed by another long string of EP and split releases. Another full-length (Winterschatten) followed in 2002, and album number three (Landschaften Ewiger Einsamkeit) was just around the corner, seeing release in 2004. Again, more splits and EPs followed. Der Letzte Winter was released in 2005, and 2006 saw the release of Lightschleier, while 2007 would be a notable year, marking the first DVD release for Vinterriket. As expected, 2008 would prove to be yet another busy year for the ambient artist, as he released the album Gebirgshöhenstille. But the most notable release of that year would be the elaborate box set presentation of the EP Firntann, which included the usual swag, like stickers and patches and a shirt, but also more unusual items, such as wood, crystals, and some pine cones. ~ Chris True

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