Release DetailsLABEL Profound Lore Records
RELEASED ON 3/1/2005
Dead Of Winter
At the Helm of the Abyss
posted on 10/2005 By:
This has to be a joke. I mean, there’s no way a band this repulsive could be associated with Profound Lore Records. If I’m not mistaken, this is the same record label that immersed themselves in the music of groups such as Agalloch, Leviathan, Melechesh, Thralldom, among numerous others and emerged with tantalizing vinyls and discs. Dead of Winter, in taking a look at the opposite side of the spectrum, are simply terrible in every facet that truly matters. Those acquainted with my reviews and my reviewing style can attest to the following: I generally try to pinpoint redeeming traits without berating too heavily. But, albums like At the Helm of the Abyss cause me to question my genteel approach.
Mostly, this is insanely fast BM that incorporates a cornucopia of overused elements. What do you get when you throw a bunch of black metal-related words into a hat, and fish them out at random? You get song titles like “To Usurp the Throne of Light,” “Across the Vast Storm Front,” and “Furnace of Nihil,” just to name a few. Though the players are seemingly talented, it’s basically as if the drummer’s a wind-up toy – as far as speed and monotony are concerned – who used the second most annoying snare drum in the world during the recording sessions. The vocals range from satisfying (regular shrieks) to over-the-top (high-pitched wretchings) to downright embarrassing (spoken words). At the Helm of the Abyss lasts less than forty minutes, but feels like it gets there quickly due to the compositions’ unyielding tempos.
I don’t doubt Dead of Winter’s sincerity, since they’ve experienced a Canadian winter firsthand, but they’ve managed to botch just about everything I would normally find enthralling about black metal. In addition, it won’t do any good for them to be housed within Profound Lore’s complex, because the label holds high esteem with a vast number of people. Said people, I assert, will be greatly disappointed at the sounds of At the Helm of the Abyss. Maybe this is a case of aesthetics over ability. Either way, I won’t be listening to Dead of Winter ever again.
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