Winterhorde
Underwatermoon


4.5
superb

Review

by J. Ponton EMERITUS
September 4th, 2010 | 104 replies | 14,303 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Winterhorde completely shatter expectations

Something happened to Israel’s Winterhorde in the four years since their last 2006 album, Nebula. Because as of right now, we’re not really dealing with the same melodic black metal band anymore – we’re dealing with a band that has expanded and evolved its sound to unprecedented heights, unexpectedly birthing one of 2010’s finest metal releases in the process.

In total, Winterhorde’s Underwatermoon is a melting-pot of extreme metal styles, blending the symphonic, melodic black, and progressive subgenres for a slightly Middle-Eastern-tinged product so diversified yet collective in its length that it rivals Orphaned Land’s Mabool and Mirrorthrone's Carriers of Dust for the ownership of the throne of extreme-metal combination.

Winterhorde do this over the course of Underwatermoon’s playing time by intertwining a concept based off a story about a Spanish gypsy and a foreign transit sailor with the band’s varied instrumental sections. Clean and harsh vocals are present throughout the album’s narrative, often switching on a dime from a smooth transitional singing section from vocalist Horeph or a guest female part, to suddenly letting loose with the lead singer’s screams, sometimes in conjunction with that of the other band members for added harmony.

Instrumentally, Winterhorde flow seamlessly through Underwatermoon as a collective unit, using each of their members’ diverse histories in music to make the album’s varied sections work surprisingly well as a whole. The riffing and soloing from guitarists Barakk and Lex is strong and memorable, making the heavy sections such as the opening of “Wreckages Ghost” or the frantic-speed guitar solo jaunts of the nine-minute “The Curse of Gypsy” moments that will sync up with listeners' minds on their second time through the album, as well as indirectly highlight by contrast the duo’s acoustic interludes that show up often on Underwatermoon.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Winderhorde do what symphonic black metal band Carach Angren did earlier this year on their sophomore album, Death Came Through A Phantom Ship, only do it much better. Unlike the prior, the band is adept at keeping the story-concept serious in its representation on Underwatermoon, while making sure that the clean vocal sections, female and/or male, don’t disrupt the album’s excellent flow. This is a vital point, as what makes the album work as well as it does is found in how its contents seamlessly work together throughout its length, all to come to a triumphant and satisfying close with the light, delicate acoustics of finale "Farewell".

Now, considering that Underwatermoon is an extreme metal release containing many-things extreme metal, you have to admit that this is very impressive. Winterhorde even make sure that each of the subgenres that they utilize has equal weight in the album’s equation. Symphonic strings are present, and so are progressive-winding song structures, but the music stays equally melodic black metal at its core, too, even when taking the clean vocals into consideration.

Underwatermoon is obviously not an album for everyone, though, especially if extreme metal blends like Mabool or Carriers of Dust may be off-putting to you. However, the album does contain a little bit of something for everyone, and it’s most likely that with its use in conjunction with the rest of the Winterhorde’s influences, you’ll soon come to appreciate much of what the band has to offer on their sophomore release. Underwatermoon is an album that represents a band that’s surpassed expectations to become a powerful force in Israel’s metal scene, unexpectedly creating one of the best metal releases of 2010.



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user ratings (47)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Ponton
Emeritus
September 4th 2010



5787 Comments


ug a month too late

songs to try, album works best as a whole though http://www.myspace.com/winterhorde

Athom
Staff Reviewer
September 4th 2010



17204 Comments


i would probably hate this

Ponton
Emeritus
September 4th 2010



5787 Comments


yep, though it does better what many of my recs do, so it's worth a shot at least

Gyromania
September 4th 2010



15461 Comments


Excellent review, Jared. I agree entirely, this is superb

Ponton
Emeritus
September 4th 2010



5787 Comments


Thanks, Matt. I had no idea anyone around here had heard it.. This seems like something your friend Danny would really love

Gyromania
September 4th 2010



15461 Comments


Yeah, it's funny that you should say that, because I just recommended it to him the other day, haha. I was originally thinking a 4/5 but it grew on me considerably. I actually wanted to write a review on this when I saw that no one else had heard it, but you did it justice.

AggravatedYeti
September 4th 2010



7684 Comments


I would almost listen to this based solely on that cover.

and the goofy ass name, but yar.

Ponton
Emeritus
September 4th 2010



5787 Comments


Yeah, it's funny that you should say that, because I just recommended it to him the other day, haha. I was originally thinking a 4/5 but it grew on me considerably. I actually wanted to write a review on this when I saw that no one else had heard it, but you did it justice.


i had actually seen it somewhere when it was originally released, but put it off for whatever reason. Hope more people check it out.

Favorite parts?

I would almost listen to this based solely on that cover.


you're just a dumb yeti, though :/

AggravatedYeti
September 4th 2010



7684 Comments


Ize Not 2 Dum :X

one day Ill make it up to you and love an amazing metal album

Zip
September 5th 2010



5312 Comments


Listened to a few tracks and it actually sounds pretty decent

Ponton
Emeritus
September 5th 2010



5787 Comments


Hope you like the rest, Zip, if you try it out.

one day Ill make it up to you and love an amazing metal album


no biggie, yeti. At least you like The Wrens ;)


Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
September 5th 2010



8321 Comments


Not much into black metal as you know but I may give this a shot based on the 4.5 and that you say there are a lot of other genre influences too. Oh and good review too.

Ponton
Emeritus
September 5th 2010



5787 Comments


I'm sure you would find something to like, magnus, and thanks. This song is a good taste of it (love that opening riff):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtkY3FZQl7k

Hawks
September 5th 2010



35392 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review man. This sound awesome.

Digging: Sun Worship - Elder Giants

AggravatedYeti
September 5th 2010



7684 Comments


At least you like The Wrens

fucking love those guys

Ponton
Emeritus
September 5th 2010



5787 Comments


Nice review man. This sound awesome.


Thanks, Hawks. I was actually thinking of shout-out boxing you to rec you this. It's right up your alley


Hawks
September 5th 2010



35392 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah dude it definitely sounds like it. I'll get on this as soon as I get my internet fixed.

Motiv3
September 5th 2010



8921 Comments


definitely sounds like a Hawk's sort of album :P.

Hawks
September 5th 2010



35392 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It really, really does lol.

Ponton
Emeritus
September 5th 2010



5787 Comments


Haha, idk Hollier. The progressive/melodic black part of this with acoustic interludes is something you might enjoy too, i think



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