Winter's Verge

Tales of Tragedy

Written by: PK on 08/02/2010 15:09:01

Cyprus isn't exactly known as a hotbed of heavy metal activity, but 2004 saw the creation of Winter's Verge, a power metal band spawned from, as the band themselves call it "the claustrophobically small and stifling metal scene" that exists on the island. "Tales of Tragedy" is their third album, following on from the 2008 release "Eternal Damnation". As well as serving up a new album, 2010 also sees Winter's Verge touring in support of power metal legends Stratovarius on part of their European tour, quite an accolade for any aspiring band of the power metal genre.

So then, the album. I guess you could say it has all the power metal ingredients: Fast drumming, lightning guitar riffs and solos, crazy keyboards and wailing vocals. The album kicks off with "World of Lies", a typically speedy number that, as it happens, isn’t particularly memorable. An opening track to an album needs to draw you in at least a little bit, and this just doesn’t. Luckily for them, it is my job to listen on, and once you have got past the first song, I am pleased to report that things get a lot better. The brooding introduction and galloping melody of "I Swear Revenge" make it the ideal song to play to your troops before leading them into battle to slay those who dared to invade your lands ( yes, I get carried away). And if you were wondering what you play to your victorious troops when you return from the battle to mourn your dead, Winter's Verge have that covered too, with what is by far the best song on the album, "For Those Who Are Gone". This is a song that really does stand out above the rest in terms of song writing and musicianship. Within two or three listens of the song, you have memorised the words to the chorus and are waiting for the wall of guitars and drums to kick in part way through and drown out the acoustic introduction. The word 'epic' gets banded about quite a lot these days, but it really could apply to this song.

However, after about the halfway mark, "Tales of Tragedy" does start to sound a bit repetitive. A few of the latter songs are a bit predictable and interchangeable, and the album does run out of steam a little. Having said that, I can imagine that Winter's Verge would be a good band to see live, and it isn't difficult to see why they were picked by Stratovarius as support. They are a very competent bunch, capable of writing some really good songs when they get it right. It is also hard not to admire them for managing to get the band going in a environment not exactly ideal for forming a heavy metal outfit and establishing it in any way. Although "Tales of Tragedy" probably isn't going to be making my top ten albums come the end of the year, it is a decent effort that this relatively new band can build on. And I am sure that they will do.

Download: I Swear Revenge, For Those Who Are Gone, The Captain’s Log
For the fans of: Axxis, Mob Rules, Orden Ogan

Release Date 29.01.2010
Massacre Records

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