"Woven Into Ashes" by VINTERSEA - A Melodic Journey through Shadow and Light (Album Review)
BY STEVE THIRIOT
There's a somber tranquility in the misty landscapes of the Pacific Northwest that VINTERSEA, a melodic metal band hailing from Oregon’s Willamette Valley, flawlessly incorporates into their auditory tapestry. In their latest album, "Woven Into Ashes," they strike an enigmatic balance between the symphonic brilliance and the pulverizing heaviness of metal, creating an atmosphere as varied and unpredictable as their geographical muse.
The album unfurls its layers with "Unveiling Light," a crescendo of paradoxes. It begins with an almost ethereal tranquility, setting a contemplative tone that is inevitably shattered by Angelic Vocals, Guttural Roars and Blitzkrieg of Guitars. This track will draw you in with it's blast beats, soulful vocal melodies and epic guitar solo's. This track sets the stage for what's to come on this album.
I assume the next track “Devil's Churn” was named after a geological marvel in Oregon, this track is an unpredictable whirlpool of sonic might. Shifting tempos mirrors the chaos and majesty of the natural phenomenon, while the harmonic overlays serve as a soothing counterpoint. This is track is sonically brilliant and aggressive.
Taking inspiration perhaps from celestial events, "Crescent Eclipse" is nothing short of miraculous. A masterclass in progressive arrangements, it navigates through time changes and melodic turns with a sense of grandiosity that leaves the listener awe-struck.
“At The Gloaming Void” plunges the listener into relentless ambiguity. Resonant bass lines juxtapose against truculent vocals, while complex riffs punctuate the track like fleeting moments of clarity in an existential fog. I really dig the artistry on this track.
“Parallel Duality” could be classified as a philosophical deliberation rendered in auditory form. Its dual nature can be felt in the contrasting sections: the serenity of the clean, melodic passages and the brutal honesty with blackened moments.
As melancholic as its title suggests, "Lonesome Tide" is a sea of lingering sorrow. It is a poignant exploration of solitude, as heart-rending vocals wash over the listener like waves on a desolate shore.
“Into The Horizon” is perhaps the most straightforward song on the album, yet no less impactful. With its shorter runtime, it serves as a poignant, melodic breather before the storm that follows.
As the finale, "No Tomorrow" is an journey, Clocking in at near 9 min; It is a culmination of all that precedes it. A dramatic close that captures the inescapable reality of impermanence, a metaphoric sundown on an already dim landscape.
"Woven Into Ashes" is a treasure that deftly combines the rawness of blackened metal with the finesse of progressive elements, all while wrapped in the melodic linchpin that is VINTERSEA's unique brand. Like the darkened skies of the Pacific Northwest that inspire them, this album is at times both beautiful and ominous, offering a musical journey that feels as limitless and profound as the landscapes that birthed it.
Melodic, intense, and thoughtful, "Woven Into Ashes" weaves a tapestry of emotions that is as vast and unfathomable as the band's Pacific Northwest backdrop. Truly, this is not just an album; it's an experience, a voyage through sonic landscapes that you'll want to traverse over and over again.