• 8/10
    WINTER CALLING - Faces - 8/10


Release date: June 2, 2017

User Review
2/10 (1 vote)

Florida based Progressive Melodic Metal act Winter Calling are back with a hard hitting, solemn collection of new material with Faces. While, on the surface, Winter Calling’s sound is reminiscent of Progressive Power Metal acts like Symphony X, Evergrey, and Withem, the lyrical content of Faces is much less majestic and fantasy based, in favor of darker and more pessimistic content. The extensive array of themes ranges from drug abuse, sex trafficking, and psychological disorders to victimization and depression. Unlike many Metal bands, Winter Calling seems completely and truly uninterested in escapism and instead takes pride in reminding us of the world’s harsh, cold realities.

Several of the Faces tracks are featured in music videos; “Not Like You” and “Follow Me Down” both display complex thematic exploration as well as visual iconology and subtle abstract references. Winter Calling is clearly making a statement that it intends to create visual, as well as auditory, art.

Both the album and Winter Calling’s new music videos feature major label level production. The vocals are finely layered without sounding overly processed, and guitar tones are thick, rich, and detailed. The drum production is tight and well-compressed, as one would expect on a modern Metal album.

Overall, Faces may not have the up-tempo energy and aggressiveness that its Power Metal contemporaries have, but the generally well executed nature of the production and thoughtful artistic directions will reward the more patient listeners. Exploring deeper concepts and lyric themes is a typical direction found on sophomore albums, and Winter Calling’s next effort will probably take a more stripped down approach, with perhaps more variety in the overall tone of their release. Regardless of Faces’ generally downer vibe, Winter Calling is doing well to prove themselves as major players on the world’s Metal stage.


  • Maxxxwell Carlisle

    Maxxxwell was a reviewer and the host of The Maxed Out Metal Hour here on Metal Express Radio. He is the current lead guitarist for LA based metal veterans Hellion. In addition to his ongoing role in Hellion, he has also released 5 albums as a solo artist and appeared as a guest writer and soloist on Michael Angelo Batio's Intermezzo album, named one of the Top 5 shred albums of 2014 by Guitar World Magazine. He continues to collaborate with various Metal musicians and teaches guitar technique and Metal composition via Skype. Additionally, he is a former competitive bodybuilder and enjoys a lifestyle based around health, fitness and Metal.

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