Wintergarden

The New Victorian

Written by: PP on 15/12/2014 23:44:44

It's been a long time since I've last touched a gothic rock/metal release after having burned out on the genre thanks to its total lack of innovation and willingness to change for arguably during its entire existence. But since we have an unofficial pledge to cover all Danish releases sent to us, and Wintergarden happens to be based in Denmark (at least partially), here we are with their debut album "The New Victorian". It turns out the genre still hasn't progressed an inch since I dropped it six years ago, but at least Wintergarden offer a rather decent take on the generic female-fronted gothic rock approach.

Basically, take your pick on any Lacuna Coil or Within Temptation record and you've basically got Wintergarden's new album. Though heavy guitars exist in places, singer Miriam Gardner's inspiration lies within pop and soul genres, resulting in an album that's very focused on her vocal performance rather than the instrumentation itself. It also means we're devoid of symphonic elements (thank god) to ensure her place in the spotlight is not taken away by anything else unnecessary. And for her part, she does a convincing job on especially "Breathe", "Can You Wait", and to an extent "Cinderella" despite it's cliché lyrics relating to the Disney classic. She has a powerful voice that defies the stereotypical fragile / high pitch style that usually dominates releases in this genre, again drawing direct parallels to the two gothic rock behemoths mentioned earlier. It's more of a classical singer than an operatic one, which suits Wintergarden's no-nonsense approach to gothic rock much better.

The previous Wintergarden EP was well received on the gothic rock scene, apparently to an extent that Clint Lowery of Sevendust fame has been heavily involved with "The New Victorian", providing guest cameos on "Breathe" and "Can You Wait". An interesting addition that's sure to draw some heads their way. But Clint or no Clint, the truth is that while "The New Victorian" is a decent release, it's still hopelessly stuck in the gothic rock mould, sounding like literally every single other band in the genre with little to suggests we should be listening to this rather than some of the bigger releases in the genre. It's stagnant, uninspiring, and forgettable, despite having decent instrumentation and a good vocalist. The songs just aren't there. This genre desperately needs a new Nightwish.

6

Download: Breathe, Cinderella, Can You Wait
For the fans of: Lacuna Coil, Within Temptation
Listen: Facebook

Release date 23.06.2014
Mighty Music

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