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Winterburst: The mind cave

27/06/12  ||  Sokaris

I’m probably in serious danger of becoming “the symphonic black metal guy” here at Global Domination. Between my declaration of the kickassery contained on the newest Vesperian Sorrow, praising the debut of Screaming Savior and absolutely fawning over Dark End ‘s recent masterpiece it seems I’ve been loving the pompous and untrue of 2012. Anyway, for the fourth time I’ve dived into the abyss and emerged, holding aloft another gem of the genre that fans should check out.

Winterburst, despite sounding like a brand of chewing gum, brings forth a strong debut of keyboard-laden extreme metal with “The mind cave”. This is one of the tightest and most exquisite young French units I’ve seen since Laetitia Casta graced the pages of the Victoria’s Secret catalogs I stole from my mom. Hey, it was the 90s, you worked with what you could find. Anyway, I wouldn’t “mind” seeing her “cave” if you know what I mean… Yeah…

Okay, where were we? Right, reviewing Winterburst. That sounds like a flavor of Powerade or something.

Anyway, this is compelling material, full of epic swathes of music, interesting linear developments and well-executed individual performances. The production is appropriate, it could stand to bring the guitars up just a touch but there’s never a point where they’re getting drowned out by everything else. It’s likely I’m just biased to thick chainsaw-y guitar tones so don’t pay that critique TOO much mind.

I’m a big fan of the vocal work on this album, mostly sticking to a sort gravelly snarl but occasionally incorporating clean vocals and some really well done choirs. The keyboards are tastefully done for the most part, though they quite obviously purposely venture into gaudy territory for the intro of one track. The title “Circus of freaks”, gives away what they were going for, so it’s not surprising to hear that jaunty/slightly deranged organ melody at the opening. This song, like all the others, ultimately develops into a swirling dark mass of melodic chants, double bass led drumming and quality guitar riffing. There are recurring elements but it’s never too by-the-numbers.

My biggest critique is that the album could do with more sudden elements, drastic tempo changes and maybe more exploration around the little frets of the guitar. “The mind cave” doesn’t necessarily suffer from a lack of these songwriting choices, it’s just what keeps it at “really good” as opposed to “holy fuck.”

The symphonic black metal guy likes it.

8

  • Information
  • Released: 2012
  • Label: Self-released
  • Website: www.winterburst-official.com
  • Band
  • Vorender: vocals
  • Kyll: guitars, orchestration, choirs
  • Terias: keyboards
  • Shainsaw: drums
  • Neil Leveugle: bass (session)
  • Tracklist
  • 01. A mirror’s game
  • 02. The mind cave
  • 03. The immortals
  • 04. Insanitarium
  • 05. D’ombres et d’infini
  • 06. Circus of freaks
  • 07. The stray
  • 08. The ancestral ritual
  • 09. Beyond the wall
  • 10. Legion of souls
  • 11. The upcoming chaos
  • 12. Beyond the wall (orchestral)