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Winter's Breath - Graveyard Symphonies

Winter's Breath
Graveyard Symphonies
by Kevin Lewis at 31 July 2021, 9:32 AM

WINTER’S BREATH is an Austrian symphonic black metal/melodic death metal project formed in 2020. Graveyard Symphonies is the debut full-length and is a follow up to the 2020 EP Rising Storm. The record was released on Via Nocturna Records June 11, 2021.

The album opens and closes with two short instrumental pieces, “The Beginning…” and “…Of The End.” Both are eerie and ambient. The tones are muted and dark. The drums are hardly noticeable, which makes some sense in this context. The guitars are gentle and ethereal. The keyboards add depth to the sound.

Between those instrumentals are more full songs and one last instrumental, “Last Breath.” With the exception of “Dead Man’s Day,” all songs are pretty long, ranging from six to over ten minutes. This is fairly typical of the genre, so nothing unexpected.

Desperate Soul” is pretty indicative of the rest of the record. Slow, somewhat Gothic in its’ feel and sound, the guitars are evenly paced and never really go anywhere into the shredding realm. The drums are fairly simple, but right on time. The keyboards are basically the star of the show. They add more emotion to the recording, layering in a lot of tension and desire, depending on the mood.

Path To Extinction” adds in horns for an even broader sound. The drums are quicker and provide more desperation to the feel. There are no clean vocals on this record and shouldn’t be. The vibe does not support clean. The guitars are better here. The riff a little more complicated and exciting.

Farther down the track listing, we get “Lessons of The Past,” a sludgy, doom-laden tune with a really dark feel. The tuning is a good choice for this song. The keys are darker and need a lower tuning on the guitar. It’s a good fit overall.

The last lyric song on the record is the title track, “Graveyard Symphonies.” Clocking in at over ten minutes, this is the final, epic portion of the tale. We again have ethereal, ambient sound all over this track. Horns and bells set the stage before the guitars and keys come in. The tone is still dark, but lighter than the earlier tracks, almost like this is the reward at the end of life, going to an afterlife, whatever that may be.

This album feels like a journey from cradle to grave in some ways, hence the beginning… of the end. There is good composition within the songs and the overall record is very listenable. There is a theme through the whole album, repeated tones and phrases that tie the whole thing together well. This is very good for a debut and hints at a future full of promise.

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

4 Star Rating

1. The Beginning…
2. Desperate Soul
3. Path to Extinction
4. Last Breath
5. Afterlife (Lady in Black Ii)
6. Lessons of The Past
7. Dead Man’s Day
8. Graveyard Symphony
9. …Of the End
Burkhard Lettner – All vocals and instruments
Record Label: Via Nocturna


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Edited 01 December 2021

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