Released: July, Moribund Cult
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Vardan from Sicily is a productive man. “Winter Woods” is his 12th (!) album since late nineties.
Easy on the releases, one might say, as the latest release only consists of 5 songs which technically only classify it as an EP and therefore Vardan could have put it on hold while waiting to finish more songs.
But then again, no need because this is not for everyone and five more doses of this and ears might start to bleed. That is even if your ears are used to raw black metal. Vardan produces black metal so raw it might not even have seen a mixing desk before the release. It is slow and at times painful to listen to. That is obviously not unusual within this genre, but it becomes a bit of a drag to listen through all five songs before the vocal’s lack of softness gets to you. This album reflects pain on a lot of levels. Vocally it just gets too much, because yes there is such a thing as too much pain when the less fortunate vocals overshadow the very well written musical pieces.
The melodies are beautiful and aesthetic, but it doesn’t hold up the whole release and Vardan tends to fade out as soon as the last note has taken off.
By Ellen Norvang