A Winter Lost - _Die längste Nacht_
(Sun & Moon Records, 2013)
by: Chaim Drishner (7.5 out of 10)
_Die längste Nacht_ ("The Longest Night"), the sophomore album by the Canadian trio A Winter Lost, is almost twice as long as the band's debut; longer in playing time yet more or less in the same vein and aesthetically similar to the previous album, _Weltenende_. The other major difference is the emergence of English lyrical content, now co-existing side by side with German-written texts, as opposed to the previous album that had been entirely written and sung in German.

The female vocalist is in charge of both the extreme screeching vocals and the sporadic clean ones. She is one whom Cadaveria (the almost mythic and always enigmatic female singer of Italian band Opera IX) would have been proud of, since they share the same vocal tone, the same viciousness and sound similarly pissed off and angry as all hell -- probably even Martin Walkyier (the truly legendary original vocalist of British pagan thrash gods, namely Sabbat) too.

I like the album a lot, and fuck the naysayers who may regard it as being goofy or gimmicky; nevertheless, the atmosphere is sombre and cold, the melodies are gorgeous, the riffs are typical black metal in essence and so are the harmonies and above all, the black metal brand A Winter Lost are playing is slow to mid-paced at best, and that's the velocity I, in most cases, feel the most comfortable with. Slow is dark and emotional, and I like my music -- metal or otherwise -- as dark and as emotional as possible, so sue me. I think speed, more often than not, kills the atmosphere and renders the recording less viable, diminishing the emotional impact of any kind of music on the listener.

The artwork, as well as the (English) texts are remarkably beautiful and in agreement with each other, corresponding well with the icy musical content, whereas the German-sung tracks are even more sublime, due to the general 'music' of this much-hated language, and how it co-exists and flirts with the metallic display that accompanies it.

The singular sound of A Winter Lost is in part derived from the so-called depressive / suicidal black metal sound and in part from the older sound of European melodic black metal bands, be they German or Swedish, with a hint of an occult vibe not unlike the sound of Opera IX in their early days.

The result is by all means unique and rewarding; the production is meticulous with the details it portrays (every instrument on the recording is extremely well represented); the riffs are harmonious and captivating without needing the dissonant bad-ass attitude and without the need to prove anything to any narrow-minded purists out there; and the vocalist is good at what she does, adding a relatively new colour to the somewhat stagnant pool of black metal's distinctive (and very limited) vocal approaches. The non-metallic moments -- folk-oriented, often neoclassical, nature-influenced aural beauties -- are nothing short of gorgeous, but unfortunately too brief.

All in all, _Die längste Nacht_ is a well written and executed album, dusting off black metal's old paradigms and offering a fresh and singular look at this artistic expression without veering off or crossing genres -- a new musical dimension spawned forth from the same building blocks that somehow have transfigured into something different and highly captivating.

Highly melodic and addictive, this half-German, half-English sung curiosity is a transfusion of new blood straight into the rotting and crumbling veins of black metal as we know it, in addition to being an ice cold, if beautiful, ode to nature.

Contact: http://www.sunandmoonrecords.com/

(article published 27/1/2014)

RSS Feed RSS   Facebook Facebook   Twitter Twitter  ::  Mobile : Text  ::  HTML : CSS  ::  Sitemap

All contents copyright 1995-2023 their individual creators.  All rights reserved.  Do not reproduce without permission.

All opinions expressed in Chronicles of Chaos are opinions held at the time of writing by the individuals expressing them.
They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of anyone else, past or present.