Wintereve – ‘October Dark’   Leave a comment

A female fronted Gothic doom metal band, from France, Wintereve have been around since 2013. Their music is a creative form of catharsis, aiming to convey the light within the darkest emotions. Wintereve are inspired by many bands, including Tiamat, Paradise Lost, Dead Can Dance, Draconian, Katatonia and Dark Sanctuary. They perform a unique art form, in that all vocals are solely Mary’s (except for occasional live backing vocals). ‘OD’ is a collaborative project, between Wintereve and Dan Swano, who mastered the album, at Unisound Studio, March 2020. It was independently released on April 25th, 2020, on Digipack CD.

Wintereve consists of Mary (vocals), Armand (guitars, bass, piano, keyboards) and Seeklone (session drums). Sebastian Ferrari contributes guest backing vocals and spoken word vocals.

This is their 3rd production, following 2014’s ‘Premiere Dance Macabre’ EP and ‘This Winter Will Never End’ 2017 CD.

Olima – Poignantly dark intro, exploding into life, with real sincerity. Brilliantly paced drums join the emotional riffs, as it drifts on, like a drowning survivor, clinging to a life raft. Beautifully ethereal vocals, with death roars following. Moving into a fluid rhythm of gothic sounds, slowing down and filling the space with so much feeling. The roars return, between the soft feminine pleas, with powerful accompaniments taking over, till the end. All operatic metal fans will get on well with this.

Sea Of Suffering – Strong, zesty intro, with a Celtic edge. Viking-esque, in its way. Taking you into the gloom, the mood’s contagious. Again, those drums are so notable, for their spacing, through which, you can feel the breath. Occasional masculine roars again, amongst the evocative darkened atmosphere. The fragile feminine vocals are very Nightwish and Epica-esque. Performing a duet now, with the roars, like a dance of sensuality. Becoming a classic operatic metal sound, with invigorating keyboard sections accompanying. Growing stronger, in its sound, it draws to an exquisite close.

The Quiet Desperation – Low piano notes open, in a dirge-like form, before bursting into exhilarating life. Once more, the drums add that unique sense of space and perfect timing. Hauntingly delicate vocals, melodic riffs and aggressive raw growls interlink. Piano segments entering at precisely intuitive points. Returning, from built-up chaos, to fragile beauty and back to tearing anguish. Complete cohesion. Drums beating harder, as the sense of ennui engulfs you. The tang entering those riffs adds the apt edge, just before the building finale.

October Dark – Gorgeous riff intro. Slightly reminiscent of G’N’R’s ‘Civil War’. Those preciously performed vocals add an air of sentiment, as they unite, as one. Heightening the tension and volume, like a constant crescendo. Moving, smoothly, through the track, with sheer instinctive beauty, the vocals are outstanding. Injecting riff melodies at exactly the right point. Quiescent sounds interlace with crashingly heavy sections. Coming to a natural end.

Call Of The Void – Perfected intro. Timing just as precise as before. Now bringing in a very slight sense of omen, cemented by dramatic, desperate, masculine pleas, roared out, before gentle, feminine vocals respond, with the same hint of fear and dread. You really do feel this. Building up the accompanying sounds, to a strong crescendo, then converting it, to a new direction. The dread fear returns, ending on a ghostly note.

Forgotten – Softer intro, via gorgeous riffs, evoking Celtic imaginings again. Exploding, with light, once more, as rainbows of melody hit. A catchy tone and pace to the vocals. This time, the roars are accompanied by lighter tones, building it up, into a structured melody. It’s a truly beautiful track, with greater riff centrality. Those vocal tones are impressive, adding more strength to the track, as it ends, on more of the gentler riffage with which it began.

To Die In Your Arms – Piercing riff intro, drums close behind, beating a darker tone. Immediately, a more macabre melancholia enters. Vocals displaying the maudlin mood, beautifully. Sharp riffs, collective cohesion plays out well. The tension ramps up, so intuitively. Such warmth in those vocals, whilst conveying coldness of atmospherics. Closing on a haunting note.

Down The Path To Perdition – Opening on singular riffs, surrounded by bleakness. Very intense greyness, accentuated by the timing. Then bursting into a full complement of sounds, encircling that darkness. The insanity of the masculine rage growls its feeling into the track. As the melody lifts, the soft feminine vocals join in, transporting the track, to a lighter place. It soars skywards, as it goes on. Still, there’s acute poignancy within it, but it combines with light and hope, as the track progresses. A classic thunderstorm comes next, with funeral bells ringing out, as once more, the light and dark of masculine and feminine combine, taking the track higher. Coming to an exceptionally well merged finale.

Overall – An exquisitely beautiful album, full of magic and seduction, ‘OD’ is a truly outstanding production, of phenomenal quality and sensational talent.

10/10 **********

For fans of Epica, Nightwish, Delain, Leaves Eyes, Evanescence, Lacuna Coil, Within Temptation, Aonia.

Posted May 28, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

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