CRYPTIC WINTERMOON – Of Shadows… And The Dark Things You Fear

CRYPTIC WINTERMOON - Of Shadows... And The Dark Things You Fear


Massacre Records
Release date: March 25, 2005

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Germany’s Cryptic Wintermoon are already veteran performers, releasing a number of projects on smaller labels before solidifying their lineup for their Massacre debut A Coming Storm. The title track is a chilling intro with eerie, distorted vocals akin to Dimmu Borgir’s “Puritania,” but the band follows that with their own distinctive brand of cold, brutal, yet Melodic Metal.

“Thrashomatic Overdrive” is a frenzied barrage of racing guitar riffs and drummer Andreas’ full-throttle blast-beats, balanced by a bit of clean vocals. “Portals of Nightfall” is more mid-paced and melodic, with fluid leads from guitarists Larsen and Michael that evoke thoughts of Iron Maiden, offset by a grinding Thrash bridge mid-song.

The old war song “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary” is an odd preface to the pulverizing “Bonegrinder 1916,” with the band firing at will on this Metal equivalent of World War III. Vocalist Ronnie declares “I am the Anti-Christ” in “Synthetic God,” a dire warning that false idols are the truest form of evil.

The rushing winds of an impending storm usher in the tempestuous “Where the Oceans Meet Eternity,” marked again by sparing clean vocals and some grand keyboard fills by Andrea. Her talents are also highlighted on “Grave Without a Name,” the set’s slowest and most subdued song, with somber, Gothic-influenced vocal passages.

Following is “Once in the Windblasted North,” an appropriate title for this track that summons back the sounds that emerged from Norway’s frozen mountains and fjords during the dark dawn of Black Metal. The angry attack continues with the straightforward, savage “W.A.R. (Without Any Regret).”

In contrast, “Heavy Armed Assault” is interspersed with high tech sound effects and deeper, darker vocals that convey the song’s ominous message. “Open Fire” continues the battle theme, bringing Classic and Extreme Metal elements into volatile coexistence.

The gale-driven guitar instrumental, “Grim Frost,” closes this diverse, dynamic, and deadly album that will appeal to devotees of the Extreme Metal styles, as well as those who seek something melodic, yet more intense than your average Power Metal.

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