WINTERLONG – The Second Coming

WINTERLONG - The Second Coming


Lion Music
Release date: June 21, 2003

User Review
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Winterlong’s sophomore release, The Second Coming, features another change in players, drumming from Vanden Plas’ Andreas Lil and the well known Anders Johanson, and features a new vocalist, Mikael Holm. It also features some heavy, technical power metal not in the vein of Hammerfall or Helloween. The Second Coming has a razor-like edge, and it’s honed all the way through.

The drums explode at the beginning of the second track, “Twisting Your Tail,” and you’ll hear vocals somewhat like ex-Shadow Keep’s Rogue, except Holm’s voice is more pure, with none of the vibrato, and strong as hell. He’s a fortunate find for the band. The interesting part of this song is the vocal lines come in almost like you are walking into the middle of a conversation. They don’t really flow, as much as they surprise, and start just as one line is ending. The guitar’s, keyboards, everything about this song rocks, but the drumming is probably the strongest part.

All you Scandinavian warriors will love the words to “Northman.” The song is basically an homage to all things Nordic, especially with the chorus culminating in the crescendo-ing cry of, “Northman! Warrior! Viking!” The main songwriter for Winterlong is Sweden’s Thorbjorn Englund, and this is just a triumphant sing-along track.

“World of Illusion,” opens with some intricate and heavy guitars, which really rip it up during the verses. You’ll hear a distinct two-chug riff during the verses, and it creates quite a vicious feel. The guitar solo is amazing, and considering how much Englund is influenced by Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai, to name a couple, you’ll hear he is more than an apt pupil. The chorus here is one of Holm’s strongest moments on the CD as well. This could be the best song on the CD.

A lyrically X-Files-ish song is called “We’ll Be Immortals.” The song begins with bombastic drums, just full-speed ahead breakneck guitars, and a strange tale with words like, “They created you, they created me, to be their wind-up toys. Then they called it life and put us down on a spinning ball in space full of hate.” Barring the lyrics, the song is quite a different type of song musically than you’ll find on the CD, showing some strong versatility.

“Evolution,” is the hardest song on the CD, which begins with Holm screaming “All right!” and the band tearing into one-minute free-for-all. Again, you’ll find some interesting lyrics here: “Let us kill, let us exterminate ourselves, it’s in the nature of our kind …” Obviously, Englund has a fairly dark vision of mankind. But, it’s not all his fault. This song and “Messiah the Machine,” are both based on the prophecies of Nostradamus.

The only thing missing from this CD is a slower ballad-type song, but Winterlong is obviously not about that. It would have been a pleasure hearing Holm sing something a little more melodic, not having to belt everything out. That aside, The Second Coming is one of those CDs you have to have in your collection if you like stunning arrangements, technical expertise and heavy power metal.

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