Tuesday, February 9, 2016

CD Review: BLACK WINTER Virtual Vortex (Independent) by Xan

Virtual Vortex
Black Winter is a band from Greece that has been around since 2000. The EP represented here showcases a mature band indeed. One that knows what they want to sound like and how to work well with each other to achieve that.
As this EP is only two tracks long (unfortunate that, as it definitely invites further listening) I'll look at each track individually. 'Virtual Vortex' follows the established pattern of "high production value" black metal, typical of such bands as Dimmu Borgir & perhaps Agathodaimon. Definitely none of your raw stuff here!
In fact Dimmu is not a bad reference point at all, since there are some riffs that would not be unlike what they would play. However Black Winter are a lot more sparing on the symphonic elements and the structure is their own. As are the vocals which tend more towards a moderate death metal style delivery.
'The Stendhal Syndrome' starts with a drawled vocal style similar to Maniac from Mayhem, before breaking into the death metal type vox once again. This track is more broken up in terms of time/feel changes with the rhythm and is definitely more original in it's construct. Interestingly both tracks do not feature guitar solos.
Undoubtedly this release is well accomplished. To the point where I am going to award a track from it permanent rotation on the Doggo Shift show, broadcast on Radio Foxton. But I still wish there were more tracks here to enjoy. It sort of feels like someone has selected two tracks from an album for you for listening to rather than present you with a complete standalone EP.
However, that feeling mostly speaks positively of Black Winter inasmuch as the desire to hear more is kindled upon hearing this release. -Xan

Track list:
1. Virtual Vortex
2. The Stendhal Syndrome

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