(We are fortunate to bring you a premiere of a song from the new album Maestro by the Israeli collective known as Winterhorde, with the following introduction by our writer DGR.)
The passage of time tends to make all of us look insane, because when you consider the sheer numbers, a gap of six years between albums looks pretty tremendous. Six years lies pretty far over on the longer side of the “waiting for a new disc” listener spectrum. Yes, so much happens in metal that you almost don’t notice, save for when all of a sudden bands dramatically reappear and drop new albums on us, seemingly out of nowhere.
Winterhorde are one such band, an Israeli symphonic-black metal band whose last album Underwatermoon was released in 2010 — an album which I praised in part because it had the temerity to feature both a boat and a planet on its cover, in a year where it seemed like eighty percent of metal releases either had a boat or a planet as their art.
Underwatermoon was a dynamic and ambitious disc. If there was one main thing to say about Winterhorde in the context of Underwatermoon, it was that the band were leaving absolutely nothing behind, and the result was a very dense album, packed to the gills with an extravagant smorgasbord of influences and styles, ranging from straightforward black metal, to symphonic death, to prog, to even a light helping of folk-metal elements, albeit through the band’s own musical filter.
The group’s new album, Maestro, is a much more focused release for the band — as ambitious as ever, but Winterhorde zero in on what really works for them, playing up the symphonic death metal element of their sound alongside a more melodic black metal influence. As a result, the album itself comes off as an eleven-track operatic play of absolute madness. Today we have the pleasure of premiering the album’s third track for you, the song “Worms Of Soul“.
Maestro is a concept album, so we join the story after it has already begun in full force (following the song “Antipath”, which contains shades of Keep Of Kalessin’s more epic power-prog moments), and “Worms Of Soul” takes that “full force” idea seriously. The intro to the song, with its hefty and worming bass line, feels like a formality, because once the song really kicks in it’s propelled forward by a searing helping of blasts and quickly barked vocals. The band even break out a theramin to add a melodic line to the overall sound, following a vocalist backed by a choir.
“Worms Of Soul” is one of the heavier songs on Maestro and certainly one of the more straightforward, yet it still contains a ton of twists and turns — a preview of what is forthcoming on the full disc. It is a theatrical song, with a sense of grandeur that goes unchallenged, and at the same time it is a tremendous headbanger.
It may have been six years since the last album, but judging by this first song, it is good to have the Winterhorde guys back.
Maestro will be released on May 20 by ViciSolum Productions.
BAND WEBSITE: http://www.winterhorde.net/