Winter's Gate
The Voyage in Becoming EP

Every so often a band comes around that makes me just childishly giddy. In the past its been Between the Buried and Me, Blind Guardian, Wilderun, and more recently in the symphonic/blackened deathcore explosion, bands like Sin Deliverance, Until We Die, and Lie to the Silence have added to bands I already enjoyed ( Lorna Shore, Worm Shepherd etc), and sent me on wildly unnecessary merch and CD purchasing sprees.

My recent ‘HOLY FUCK” band has been North Carolina’s Winter’s Gate, which certainly fit the above-blackened deathcore genre and just releases a digital-only (boooooooo!) second EP, called The Voyage in Becoming, and its an absolute fucking scorcher.

Whole certainly in that Lorna Shore, Shadow of Intent, Worm Shepherd (with whom they share the same caver artist with) ballpark, with epic orchestration (more in that in a minute) playing a prominent role in the music, these guys are way more melodic and less about huge, loping breakdowns, though they certainly have a couple and super demonic vocals.  The musical background is much more rooted in the melodic metalcore scene of their North Carolina brethren (Prayer For Cleaning, Glass Casket, The Demonstration, etc) from the mid-00s as well as shimmery, emotive genre stalwarts like Misery Signals, Your Memorial and such.

This all too short 4 song ep starts with “Preordained”, which is arguably my favorite song in this young 2022. The stuttering, heaving riff is backed by some of the very best keyboards of 2022 if not beyond and there’s such a great little jaunt around the 1:11 mark, that gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.

And those absolutely stunning keyboards remain central to the next three tracks (as does Trevor Teichert’s varied, powerful voice) as heard on “Dreadforger” which has a cool lead brass opening that could be from a Summoning Record and a great little haughty mid-paced sway. Then “King of Cinder” slows things down a bit with a more introspective, moody opening couple of minutes, before a classic melodic, metalcore gallop. The EP rounds out with “The Voyage”, a slower, steadier song that reeks of their metalcore core peers like Burn in Silence and early Bleeding Through. but again, those keyboards……..are just so fucking good.

These guys also change things up a little in the lyrics and central themes, as they seem to be a little more rooted in fantasy and video games realms (and pull it off better than say, The Wise Man’s Fear) with some references to the likes of Dark Souls and Star Wars universes in this and prior material.

In an ideal world, these guys blow up, and are signed to Century Media Records ( and release this EP on god damn CD….) and become the next Lorna Shore. But I’m a little concerned that the whole symphonic/blackened deathcore genre might eat itself away with an oversaturation of bands as metalcore did in the mid-00s, and these guys get glossed over, but with this level of talent, they should be one of the ones that are left standing.

Now if you will excuse me, I have to go and listen to “Preordained” for the 87th time….

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
February 25th, 2022

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