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Winter Nights – Sky Burial

Winter Nights
Sky Burial
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 14 November 2021, 7:16 AM

WINTER NIGHTS is a melodic death metal band from New York who formed in 2007.  "Sky Burial," is their newest release, an EP with four tracks and a 19 minute run time.  They have previously released three full lengths and another EP. If you're a fan of melodic death, this isn't a piece of music you want to miss. In less than twenty minutes you will be given a musical ride to a world of cold, darkness and death. And you'll love every minute of it.

The band's overall sound  featured on this album is much bleaker and dangerous than most other modern melodic death albums. The slow, creepy buildup up of "Time To Say Goodbye" proves that being melodic doesn't mean you have to give up a sinister atmosphere. Jeremy's vocals are low to mid growls that, while intelligible, are also damn near frightening. Efrain apparently does vocals too so maybe they are both frightening? At any rate, their guitar playing is very atmospheric–they nail down a stark tone.

The song ends in an array of melodic harmonies a brutal rhythmic performance from the bass and drums. Afterwards, the song fades off into ambient textures that lead into clean guitar for the next song "Neither Faith Nor Fear." The beginning of this song is oddly beautiful with some stunning lead work. The song bursts into much speedier territory. The fury of keys and the crashing of the drums makes an epic but abrasive experience. The vocals run with this as they are visceral.  The guitars lay down a massive wall of sound which makes it all harrowing and somewhat suffocating.

"I Pray To I," is less focused on melody and takes a more death metal approach. It is a good change of pace and the band clearly isn't afraid of being more intense when it is called for. They still throw in some melody here and there  and it matches the dark nature of the song. The title track closes the album and does so very well. A symphonic intro that leans heavily into Gothic tones leads into the song's foundation bolstered by double bass. The song somewhat reminds me of CRADLE OF FILTH but WINTER NIGHTS is less focused on theatrics and more focused in letting the song speaks for itself.

The song speeds up about a quarter of the through with crisp drumming leading this charge. A melodic solo runs through it while the vocals and rhythm guitar chop it into pieces. The result is a frenzied but tightly controlled sound. All in all, WINTER NIGHT's "Sky Burial" is a nice little piece of darkly engaging melodic death. This is one of the better EPs I've heard in this half half of the year and look forward to another full length.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Time To Say Goodbye
2. Neither Faith Nor Fear
3. I Pray To I
4. Sky Burial
Lineup:
Efrain Farfan - Guitars (lead), Vocals
Jeremy Farfan - Vocals, Guitars (rhythm)
Martin Tune - Bass
James Yarusinsky - Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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