Old Wainds - Where The Snows Are Never Gone

Old Wainds is no stranger to black metal, as this Russian group have completed their fourth album, 'Where The Snows Are Never Gone,' just recently. For those who are familiar with this group, they know exactly what to expect- cold, buzzing black metal with throaty vocals draped in a winter theme that can get repetitive, but reflects with furious windstorm that the guitars just whip up for the earhole. For those who are not familiar with this band, Old Wainds is pretty typical black metal with each song remaining heavy in tremolo picking and the drums a constant blur while the vocals snarl away, but the production is a bit off as the music seems faded and old school- which is good- but the vocals seem a bit clearer than most, with a crossover between Funeral Mist and Leviathan. Yes, it's ugly and undecipherable, but also effective. It certainly suits the more 'black rock n' roll' styled parts on a track like "Where The Snows Are Never Gone," which can also be more preferable to the regular seamless flow of riffs that just keep coming like an avalanche.

For the most part, 'Where The Snows...' are pretty solid in their work, but also don't really seem to be making much progress. Like the first Dodsferd album, it is creative but needs more direction, especially if this is so similar to the previous works done by Old Wainds. Tracks like "Eternal Wanderer Of Winter Night" and "Guardians Of The Icy Kingdom" tend to keep the same structure, both in how the guitars are melded along with the drums either beating at high speeds or with more pauses in between to get a decent rhythm going. There isn't much when one plays the album through to really make any particular track stand out, but "Cold Mourning..." holds a strong presence due to its slower temp, better use of layering the guitar sound and still keeping a cold atmosphere. The production even seems like it has been switched with the instruments much louder and the vocals faded this time; it is a very effective mood to capture the right atmosphere of the music. Consider it similar to a darker version of Satyricon's earlier music. Even some keyboards are in the mix so that adds a fresh sound to the album as well, but sadly it seems like it comes a bit too late to really enjoy. Perhaps if Old Wainds had spread out tracks like these more throughout the album rather than sticking to the incessant blasting that they are known so well to do for so long, perhaps this would have been a better album. Older fans will either take it or leave it, but new fans will probably get a kick out of this if they like their black metal grim and fast at least for a little while.

  1. Unholy Nordland Fire
  2. Winter Warriors
  3. Gods Gazing From Beyond
  4. Eternal Wanderer Of Winter Nights
  5. Where The Snows Are Never Gone
  6. At The Gates Of The Frosty Mountains
  7. Guardians Of The Icy Kingdom
  8. Cold Mourning Of The Pale Moon

Reviewer: Colin McNamara
Jun 12, 2011

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