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Winterstorm - Cathyron Award winner

by Daniel Fox at 02 January 2014, 8:03 PM

You have to admit: Germany is well known for being a (please, excuse me) power metal powerhouse, what with the likes of HELLOWEEN and EDGUY. To add to the Germanic force of soaring melodies are power metal act WINTERSTORM. Releasing their 3rd full-length "Cathyron" early this year, as is often done in Power Metal, sees a focus on high-fantasy-like lyrical content, with effective tradeoffs between speed riffage of classic US Power Metal, but also soaring melodies and epic atmospherics.

A towering paladin on a pure white steed clad in gilded white armor, carrying 3 flaming swords and 5 battle-axes; that's the mental image that immediately comes to mind upon hearing the title track, kicking the album off in the best possible fashion that a power metal album should; epic, rolling riffage and a driving yet soaring melody pattern. What caught me off guard at first were Alex's vocals; fair enough that one would expect sky-high screams, but he appears to sing more in the vein of Edu Falaschi and Andy Deris, with a deeper, yet boomingly-powerful voice with a chillingly-commanding presence. "Windkeepers" came close to being my favorite track on the record because of it's unusual, yet intricate and catchy melodic progressions; melded with classic power metal gallops and smatterings of progressive riffage and Alex's powerful story-telling voice.

Another standout track comes in the form of "The Maze" which begins with a hauntingly-beautiful, dual keyboard melody; alas, it turns out to be one of the most diverse tracks on the record in terms of overall arrangement. It effectively switches between heaviness, melodic emotion and folk-like rhythm sections. I also feel as if Alex put more effort into conveying different emotions in this song, as well. However, my overall favorite song has to be "Call of the Darkness". I'm able to grasp and experience the amount of sonic power contained within this track from the onset of the first chord; the chord and melodic patterns forthwith are creatively arranged and executed. Aside from the vocals, the majority of the track reminds me strongly of NIGHTWISH; mostly because of the prominent symphonic atmospherics; Alex once again utilizing his unique voice to convey a tone that is both foreboding and grandiose.

If you're looking for an excellent Power Metal album, this is where you should look/listen; the real meat and potatoes, so to speak.

4 Star Rating

1. A Hero Rises
2. Cathyron
3. Far Away
4. Burning Gates
5. Windkeepers
6. Down in the Seas
7. The Maze
8. Elders of Wisdom
9. Metalavial
10. The Evocation
11. Call of Darkness
12. The Element's Strife
Alex – Vocals
Seb – Drums, Backing Vocals
Armin – Guitars, Backinv Vocals
Michi – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Peter – Bass
Record Label: NoiseArt Records


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