Wintersoul
Frozen Storm Apocalypse

Considering the last CD I heard from Wisconsin’s Nokternal Hemizphear Records was a symphonic Christian black metal from Columbia―which ended up being pretty good―I was eager to hear how the label’s next offering, the debut from the UK’s Wintersoul would hold up… and it’s not too bad either!

Not overtly or blatantly Christian (as far as I could tell), but more focused on typically frosty, cold black metal themes (as if you could not tell from the moniker, album title and song titles like “Dawn of Ice Hearts”, “Thorns of Winter” and “Blood on Ice”), Wintersoul is musically rooted in older Immortal and Marduk (blistering, blazing black metal) rather than to anything too sugary or symphonic. Though, there are some very light synths here and there. Then of course you can make the thematic comparison to such icy bands as Imperial Crystalline Entombment and Immortal Souls with the whole ice/frost shtick/theme.

While scattered with a few moments of restraint and atmospheric accessions  (“Frostland”, start of “Dark Winter Skies”, “As the Snow Falls”), for the most part Wintersoul are otherwise delivering fierce blast beats, razor sharp tremolo picked riffs and blackened snarls ― all done with a respectable vitriol and skill. None of it is really outstanding, but there are lots of well produced, venomous riffs and rasps, as heard on the likes of “Thorns of Winter” and “Blood On Ice”.

On the downside, the band insists in injecting the female vocals of Melanie Sarah here and there, either with an ethereal croon or a spoken whisper. Either way, Sara Jezebel Diva she is not, and her off key singing detracts from the songs. Thankfully it’s not too often (“Dark Winter Skies”, “Shades of Terror”, “Shadows of Death”), but when it does happen, it’s a bit cringe inducing. Which is a shame considering the quality of the rest of the music.

Still. A solid effort that along with say Wodensthrone, Winterfylleth,  Spearhead and Scythian, show there’s  a talented  and true side to underground British black metal that’s more than eyeliner and giant boots.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
August 25th, 2010

Comments

  1. Commented by: Joe

    yet another ‘winter’ band.


  2. Commented by: Jason

    Couldn’t agree with you more about the female vocals. Dry and tuneless.
    Musically though, wow. Wintersoul is ferocious.


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