How Like A Winter
Beyond My Grey Wake


4.0
excellent

Review

by fireaboveicebelow USER (108 Reviews)
October 21st, 2008 | 27 replies | 3,899 views


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist


3 of 3 thought this review was well written

“A glooming peace this morning, the sun for sorrow will not rear her head; so hence, to have more talk of these sad things; some shall be pardon’d and some punished; for never was a story of more woe…”
(William Shakespeare)


A recent turn of events has proved the existence of the undead. Shakespeare himself has risen from the dead to once again reach people’s hearts in his favorite new medium, doom metal. Yes, due to contrary belief, William can roar, plus his singing is exceptional, with his baritone and shivering manner. But why come back now, you ask? It turns out, according to a recent interview, that he was so pissed off at Aiden and their hideous lyrics and painfully insipid music that he knew he had to spread true poetry throughout impressionable youth of today. Thus he cultivated How Like A Winter.

As previously mentioned, How Like A Winter is an Italian doom band. There are 6 members going by the aliases of Dust, Agony, Tragedy, Misery, Bane, and Mist, a further addition to the themes of the band. That being said, the unique attribute of the band is that they really do sound like the spawn of the band Shakespeare would’ve created instead of the surface cliché an average passerby would discern, the obvious goal of How Like A Winter.

Going into the first song on the album, you will probably associate the band with older My Dying Bride, and for good reason. Dust’s low growl on top of slow, chugging riffs with violins certainly would bring the connection to mind, but that is where all comparisons cease. The main difference is that this band is anything but repetitive, more peculiar, and the use of violin never seems forced.

Dust is the main vocalist of the band, concurrently providing piano/orchestral arrangements as well, rarely falling back to synths. You may know him as Marco, the vocalist for The Foreshadowing. Oh yeah, Shakespeare isn’t really back, that was a joke….sorry guys. Anyhoo, Dust’s main attack is low or high growls, similar to Aaron Stainthorpe, but more powerful. He is accompanied by not one, but TWO female vocalists, just more incentive for you femme-fans.

The vocals alone seem to live inside the compositions, for the combination appears so organic…so organic to a point where it’s capable to extend to new realms with the music. While drifting through the record, you feel your mind enchanted, and ponder at the love stories within; at the cataract in the hallways of your imagination, peering into the features of the floating melodies. You may begin to think of it as a concept album and you wouldn’t be wrong to think so, however it’s only a concept of a theme; no intertwining stories, at the surface at least. A prevalent atmosphere of romanticism is everywhere, and whether its audial form be intense, swaying, mysterious, eccentric, or even painful, you will understand it.

For further sake of description, a seminal highlight of the album would have to be All The Seasons Of Madness. A venture in itself, the song kicks off instantly with a strong vocal line and jamming sounding rhythm. The drums really add so much to the song, let alone the rest of the record, with its offbeat patterns and incorporation of groove. The song then continues to a heavy, fast paced section with more melody than an old In Flames song, sporadically breaking into acoustic interludes with sharp, fast ride cymbals. It persists in the acoustic ventures until static seizes you to a new stage, one of a dark and rhythmic piano line breaking into heavy riffs and organs, until finally returning to the intro section to close.

Though guitar is fully utilized on that song, the rest of the album is much more orchestral. Granted, you still may savior your heavy sections, so no worries. Not one instrument or pattern is overused throughout the album, whether it be violin, female vocals, or repetitive guitar riffs, a definite highlight especially in this genre. Also, unlike much doom/gothic metal records, this isn’t hypnotizing in the sense that the album suffocates you until you finally realize it’s over. This album pulls you in close, yes, but it makes you pay attention to every detail. It takes you on a passage through sorrow at every poetic angle, painting a portrait with its own melancholic textures of self- induced torture and unrefined, almost primordial, passions of preserved depression. And when it’s all over, you can only sit back to marvel at the splendor of nature and sentiments of the past, in awe of how one can feel so much.

“How like a winter hath my absence been from thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year…what freezing have I left, what dark days seen with old December’s bareness…everywhere…”



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user ratings (7)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
fireaboveicebelow
October 22nd 2008



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dunno if I'm keeping the intro, I did it to please myself and the thought of a zombie Shakespeare.

Album is perfect for this time of year

marksellsuswallets
October 22nd 2008



4848 Comments


Keep the intro...it made me laugh...and I'm quite sick (flu or something) so that is quite an accomplishment

Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 22nd 2008



17128 Comments


Your intro is a little out there but it works.
This looks great. Im definitely gonna hunt this down.This Message Edited On 10.21.08

Digging: Sad Lovers and Giants - Feeding the Flame

Zoo
October 22nd 2008



3759 Comments


Not big on this band but I may look into this once I have time.

fireaboveicebelow
October 22nd 2008



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The more I listen to this, the more I find in the compositions. I kinda want to raise my personal ratingThis Message Edited On 10.21.08

fireaboveicebelow
October 22nd 2008



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

how com every time I post a review 10 other people feel compelled to right after me?

BallsToTheWall
October 22nd 2008



44164 Comments


Wow, I didn't see this like at all. Great review, great fucking album. The female vocals remind me of Christina Scabbia reminding us what Lacuna Coil could have been. Ace review.

fireaboveicebelow
October 22nd 2008



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

did old Lacuna Coil sound like this? I just might check it out if it did

Essence
October 22nd 2008



3562 Comments


not enough dooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooom

In seriousness, the review felt a tad short. This Message Edited On 10.22.08

fireaboveicebelow
October 22nd 2008



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hmm, how do you mean?

Essence
October 22nd 2008



3562 Comments


Well, the first two paragraphs, amusing as they are, contribute absolutely nothing to the review except the reader learns that:
A. You read too much Shakespheare (okay, maybe not :P)
B. This band is from Italy and they play doom

The 'review', per se, starts in the third paragraph. At that point, it feels very short with only a few paragraphs of actual reviewing.

fireaboveicebelow
October 22nd 2008



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I see what you mean, I'll try something out

Essence
October 22nd 2008



3562 Comments


You already got my pos, just needs some polish :D

fireaboveicebelow
October 22nd 2008



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Beefed it up a bit, moved a couple things around. I like it better now

Essence
October 22nd 2008



3562 Comments


^_^

Wizard
October 22nd 2008



18796 Comments


Good review. Shakespheare was my enemy in high school so I might give this a shot when I have the time.

Digging: Lord Mantis - Death Mask

fireaboveicebelow
October 22nd 2008



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm actually very curious if you'll like this or not, cuz it's not your typical doom so you might be able to latch on to it easier

BallsToTheWall
October 22nd 2008



44164 Comments


I pretty much find typical doom to suck balls, there are exceptions of course, but atypical is my kind of stuff, the 10 minute track is kind of a disspoaintment,

fireaboveicebelow
October 22nd 2008



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

perhaps you are bescreen'd by its coolness

BallsToTheWall
October 22nd 2008



44164 Comments


Well, if Swallow The Sun is bescreened to be cool then I don't want to be cool. Just kidding but slow repetition isn't really my bag. Fast repitition maybe, but i'm just not digging the doom as much as aggression brought by black/death. I want to chop heads and throw spears, not hammer somebodys skull in with slow, heavy blows.This Message Edited On 10.22.08



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