Zax Review: Winter Eternal – Realm Of The Bleeding Shadows 7.5

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  • Winter Eternal
  • Realm of the Bleeding Shadows
  • Atmospheric Black Metal
  • Greece
  • 1st June 2019
  • 7.5/10

Bandcamp

Winter Eternal is an atmospheric black metal trio out of Greece. They just released their second full length album titled, Realm of the Bleeding Shadows. At 32 minutes it is a pretty brief listen – especially for a black metal album – but they use that time wisely and craft heavy music with heaps of gorgeous atmosphere.

If there is anything a good atmospheric black metal album should do, it’s make you feel and experience things through moods, textures and layers. This album creates these beautiful icy and desolate landscapes in my head. The instrumental interlude titled, “The Promise” does a great job of that with it’s melancholic violin, mysterious sounding acoustic riffs, and ice cold ambiance. You know an album is good when even the interlude is great. There are also the trademark melodic black metal riffs that give off those same moods.

Cover art by Trifonas Stathopoulos –  a Greek artist whose inspirations feel old school and help add a level of credibility to the music. Stathopoulos also does art for other releases including Soulreaper’s other band Nightbreed which possesses a similar signature style – Carcassbomb

The bass is probably my favorite thing about this album. In most extreme metal genres the bass lines are thick, crushing, and groovy. However some bands out there opt for a more dynamic approach, most notably Rivers Of Nihil. This band definitely falls into the latter category. The bass is beautifully melodic, and it’s up pretty high in the mix so it’s very present. The track, “Darkness Guides Me” in particular has some standout bass work. The production work is very fitting too, it teters on that perfect little line between rough and clean, which is perfect for black metal if you ask me. The lead guitar shines here too with a nice solo or lick here and there.

The vocals, while not entirely unique or original, are serviceable. They’re pretty traditional black metal growls. On the track, “A Tearful Song” the vocals take on a depressive black metal vibe with higher more emotional screams, which is actually a very nice fit for the band. This album is pretty standard for it’s genre sonically, but it more than makes up for it with the emotional impact and the things it can make you feel. I love atmospheric black metal albums that can be beautiful and melodic without sacrificing heaviness and intensity; this album has a perfect balance.

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