Next review: » Winterlong - Valley of the Lost
The Second Coming
Released: 2003, Lion Music/Distribution Fusion
A couple of years ago I raved about VALLEY OF THE LOST, the debut CD from Sweden’s Winterlong. They were one of the great new bands that I was closely watching. Unfortunately the band ran into trouble and guitar player Thorbjorn Englund left the band. This is where things get fuzzy. Singer and guitarist Hussni Mörsare and bassist Erik Tornberg were joined in a new revamped Winterlong by guitarist Payre Kankanranta. Drummer Tony Erkkilä, who had previously left the band, returned and the lineup was complete. In a strange twist the band changed their name from Winterlong to Viperine. Now here I have the new Winterlong of which the only member from the original band is Englund. Confused? Well I was kind of surprised when I received this disc but after a few listens I warmed to the new sound of Winterlong.
Having to put together a whole new band doesn’t seem like it was much of a problem for Englund. Joining him on THE SECOND COMING are new vocalist Mikael Holm, keyboardist Mistheria and a couple of big time drummers in Andreas Lil from Vanden Plas and the legendary Anders Johansson who has played with everyone from Hammerfall to Yngwie Malmsteen. The sound of the band itself has changed a little with the addition of totally new band. On VALLEY OF THE LOST Englund displayed his shredding abilities but THE SECOND COMING sees him really let loose with the guitar acrobatics. On “Retaliation” and “Ride Into the Skies” Thorburn burns up the fretboard as his Malmsteen influence shines through. Though the band retains its aggressive powermetal sound fostered on its first disc, there is an added progressive edge added to some of the material. “We’ll Be Immortals” comes to mind right away. The CD is closed out with a guitar instrumental “Aurora Borealis: A New Beginning”.
Lion Music has become one of the premier labels in terms of delivering melodic metal. Everything from power and prog to hard rock and guitar instrumental acts have found a home with Lion. Winterlong cut across a couple of these genres. THE SECOND COMING is a product of the strong vision of Thorburn Englund. Though different in many ways from the previous incarnation of Winterlong, this new version still has one thing in common: it is one of the up and coming lights on the metal scene.
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