Release DetailsLABEL Murderous Dark Records
RELEASED ON 7/2/2007
Nightmares For The Sleepless
posted on 9/2007 By:
For many years, Non European bands (namely the US and Canada) have attempted to try and recreate the melodic blackened majesty of their European peers, and only a few have succeeded (Epoch of Unlight, Dragonlord, Venificum, Will of the Ancients, Beyond Within, Sothis to name just a couple). It looks like I might have to add California’s Winterthrall to that list.
With a sound that seems to mix the likes of early Cradle of Filth, early Dimmu Borgir, Naglfar and Necrophobic, Winterthrall are a name dropper's dream, but to their credit, they deliver their form of melodic, dark black/death metal majesty with aplomb and competence. One needs look no further than third track, “Light of a Failing Sun” and fourth track “Edifice of Betrayal” to hear the band's slightly more vehement take on melodic black metal and realize the band is onto something solid. With seething rasps, regal blasts and plenty of dark atmospheres, Winterthrall are capable and unashamed of their influences but deliver them with confidence.
Of course considering the band contains members of the long running and respected Noctuary, that’s no real surprise, but what is surprising is the level at which the band captures the essence of the European sound and sense of grim yet epic melodies. The melody that's seeded in the blastbeats is often some form of layered crescendo (“Blood From a Broken Wing”) or solo work. The very slight use of synths here and there also add to the overall Euro-presentation (“The Audient Void”) while slower number “In Frozen Apathy” along with haunting Cradle of Filth like vocals cements this fact, though the following track ,“Autumn Caskets,” shatters the mood with clinical melodic vitriol.
However, this release still feels a bit incomplete and seems like a collection of re-recorded demo tracks, which is exactly what Nightmares of the Sleepless is. Even with a cover of Carcass’ “Death Certificate” tacked on the end of “The Audient Void”; it’s lacking just that extra spark and polish of production and finite song writing greatness to elevate it past merely ‘good’. However, good is acceptable and I look forward to seeing how this lot develop their sound.
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