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Death (DOOM!) Metal Monday, A to Z: WINTER

alice in chains chooses a slightly different approachGreetings!  Today, in honor of the rather shitty and out-of-season weather we’re having,  I’m going to stretch my self-imposed limits just a bit and feature the brilliant and groundbreaking death/doom metal pioneers WINTER from New York City.  To this day, their debut masterpiece Into Darkness (1990) has yet to be paralleled in all its trenchant and agonizing half-speed glory.

In fact, I’m not sure anybody else has really tried to mimic the trademark CELTIC FROST-at-16 1/2-RPM death/doom approach WINTER so readily perfected.  DIVINE EVE may be a close runner up, and the obvious OBITUARY would almost be there if your tape copy of Cause of Death melted a bit in your car.  But those are fleeting comparisons, as neither of those bands had the fortitude to force the listener through a full 45 minutes of Into Darkness‘s punishingly plodding and down-tuned dirge

If you still can’t quite picture it, you know what to do.  Be patient through the foreboding instrumental opener “Oppression Freedom / Oppression (Reprise)” and you’ll be rewarded with a death (DOOM!) metal experience like none other.

ARGGHHHH.  The timbre this album achieves is worth its weight alone: that dripping tone threatens constantly to overwhelm everything, only to be outmatched by a rolling tank of a percussion section and terror-stricken vocals showing just the right amount of fevered strain.  Groaning funeral dirges or lilting neo-romantic mourning WINTER are not.  Instead they manage to convey a post-apocalyptic hopelessness perfectly in line with their grainy cover photo: a world where all individual hopes are slowly vanquished as they are subsumed by the bleak reality which has befallen them.

I hope I haven’t left you in too much despair and you’ve enjoyed our temporary descent into the formless void.  Next week’s “X” band is sure to be a formidable challenge and I look forward to meeting it for you.  Cheers!


2 comments on “Death (DOOM!) Metal Monday, A to Z: WINTER

  1. Passenger
    April 26, 2015

    This band was pretty serious about their music, as they put a long message in their booklet describing their style, attitude, and etc.

    I do recommend listening to this album with double speed.
    It’s kinda hilarious that even then the songs still feel long and slow.

    From myself, I feel like recommending the debut of Warlord UK – Maximum Carnage.
    Excellent and one of the catchiest Death/Thrash you will ever hear.

    • Neil
      April 27, 2015

      WARLORD is awesome and still overlooked stuff. A DECEASED cover (who haven’t they covered) first made me aware of them and I still need to catch up for sure. Thanks for the reminder!


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This entry was posted on April 20, 2015 by in 1990s, death metal, death metal monday, doom metal, old school death metal and tagged , , , , .
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