Operation Winter Mist - _Winter Warfare II_
(Regimental Records, 2004)
by: T. DePalma (7 out of 10)
This CD is a combination of Operation Winter Mist's first release _Winter Warfare_ (2002), _Winter Warfare II_ (composed of new material recorded in 2003) and live tracks culled from videotape -- the sound quality of that being better than expected. Operation Winter Mist plays an atypical style of black / war metal dealing with all things cold, bloody and Canadian. Twelve tracks create an unsparing tribute to war behind nationalistic hymns that make other anthems' boastfulness seem like storming a mound of sand castles by comparison. Although they include a Bathory cover that is perhaps too slick -- reducing that classic "chainsaw" guitar sound to a heavy electric razor --, the production is complimentary to their own songs, which are reminiscent of early Gorgoroth and a less evolved Burzum with more speed metal gallops in the breaks. At times the conscious or unconscious nod to Marduk cannot be ignored ("Iron Coffins", "In the Trenches") and this band has a tendency to take their subject matter to the edge of gimmickry (note the text on their website that incessantly refers to the band's ersatz militancy). The dedication pays off on this release, which is quite formative in matching words, images and sound in a charge of blast beats and wolfishly descending guitar rhythms to tell a hopeless reality of combat.

Contact: http://owm.ark11.net

(article published 3/9/2004)

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