Artist: Screams of Winter
Album Title: Rise of the Nephillim
This is a four-song EP from Screams of Winter, an American band playing heavy metal.
The sound on this EP is just about right. The rhythm guitars are crunchy, the leads have a good amount of wail, and the drums and snarled vocals are just where they ought to be in the mix. There's also just enough hiss and distortion to give the EP a bit of a raw edge.
The EP opens with a boastful spoken-word intro, followed by "Waking Nightmare". Some of the riffs here sound a bit too modern to my ears, but the galloping, headbanging section in the middle is great. The wailing solo here is one of the best moments on the EP.
I really like the lead guitar on "Rise of the Nephillim". The start-and-stop guitar and drum work underneath it is tight, but doesn't seem to fit with the solos as well as it might.
"Look of Vengeance" is a mix of chug riffing and traditional heavy metal solos. The overall effect is a good one, and this song sounds a lot more cohesive than "Rise of the Nephillim". The extended heavy section near the end is excellent! The breakdown that comes after it seems very out-of-place, though.
"Realm of Eternal Winter" is easily the best song on the EP. It's a wandering, spacious song with a powerful vocal performance. The guitar has a great live/jam feeling to it! The slow section right before the end is quite moving. The songwriting on this one shows lots of potential.
This band sounds good, and they've certainly got a high degree of musicianship, but it seems like they can't decide if they want the crowd to be headbanging or pogoing. The mix of traditional metal and chugging breakdowns just doesn't work for me. If they can iron out a more cohesive sound, however, Screams of Winter will go far.
Standout Tracks: "Waking Nightmare", "Realm of Eternal Winter"