I never previoulsy heard of the album, and only picked it up because of the awesome album cover. Yes, the warrior who looks hellbent for war along with his fierce canines drew mw in, but it was the mucis that made me stay. With a band name that sounds like a black metal band, and a album title that sounds like well, weird I didn't know what to expect. But what came was well worth it.
It's insane when you know that this is a debut album. The album has great production, it just sounds like these guys have been doing it for years. It's not easy to label a genre for the band. If anything I would lean toward technical death metal. The riffs never stop changin, and just when you think you've hard it all, there comes another. The guitars sound visceral, needly, and squeaky...in a goodway. As mentipned earlier the production is top notch. You can hear everything, and the guitars sound perfect. There clear and brutal, without sound generic or overproduced. The drumming compliments the guitars well. The guys knows what he's doing and is more that adequate. The vocalist is has nice range, and doesn;t try to do what he can't. You won't see any forced clean vocal or anything like that. Vocal wise think of a cross between Behemoth and Amon Amarth. The vocalist sounds like a possessed man leading an army, good stuff.
I'm very picky when it comes to metal, and this is one of the few recent albums I can listen to the whole way through.
"Avarice" Open the album and sets a great pace for the rest that follows. When you hear this track you think of horseman preparing for battle. But a 1:05 the main riff changes..then again..then again. Awesome.
"Deeds Of Days Long Gone" Listen to :57. nuff said. Ok I say a little more. Riffs? You want them this song has them. Their complex, and they don't stop. At 2:05 the song gets epic and solo starts and it opens the song up. After that bliss follows. This is one of the best tracks on the album, period.
"Elegance In Aggression" The opening is riff very Meshuggah-esqe, is a nice change of pace and keeps things fresh. At 1:17 it just goes balls out and crazyness follows(in a good way). Very Spawn of Possession like in away. The guitars just keep in a spiral that keeps going, vocalist never falls behind. Great track.
"Saviour" Time to get progressive. Ok it's track four now, time for something new well, here it is. Riffs on tops of riffs. This song just gets you ready to pick of your nearest sword and stab someone...It just does. At 2:42 it gets heavy, and what follows is another awesome solo.
"Of Winter Born" The title track, the short track, and the most aggressive track all in one. Also the least impressive. It just seemed tacked on, and lacks the quality of the other songs. It's not bad by any means but after the greatness the came before it, it does seems kind of weak and thrown together.
"Solitude" Creepy opening, with nice effects. The vocalist and the guitars since. The riff never fail to impress with their complexity. Every thirty second the song throws something new at you, and it always works. Enough cannot be said about how great the guitars sound. The solo at the 2:00 mark is calmer than the previous ones, but business picks up again. Again, I get a SOP vibe especially at the 2:55 mark. One of the best tracks here.
"Dynasty Damnation" Quite aggressive at the beginning, holding no punches. Then it gets technical at :42 and at :50 it gets awesome. The latter part of the song sound like a less brutal more tch Behemoth, even a breakdown is thrown in.
"Tide Of Pestilence" Think war-ish deathcore...but in a goodway. Sounds like the result of Whitechapel going progressive. Really stand out from the rest of the tracks, and the solo is short, and hair-raising. Short and sweet breakdown at the end.
"In The Face Of Absolution" Start of pretty average around the 1:10 mark there's wavy riffs, that's hard to describe. Feels more restricted than some of the other tracks, but the solo delivers, albeit a little short. Good song, just not great.
"Elusion Of Mortality", the final track gets epic, without an overblown orchestra, or other gimmick. With the needly guitars, and ever changing riffs It's a fitting closer to a great album.
Now, the album isn't perfect. There are a few minor flaws. If you're a casual metal fan the songs will beging to sound generic. Unless your used to more complex musc, this band may not be for you. This is necessiarly a bad thing, but is worth noting. There are no gimmick used here. No acustic interludes, no intros and outros, nor film samples, no guest appearances. This is pure music, so if you want distractions in your metal, you won't find it here. Originality...well, this CD won't revolutionize anything. You can hear bits of SOP, Behemoth, Viking Metal, Whitechapel, etc, so yeah. But what is original these days, it's damn good even if it does borrow from other bands. the drumming...leaves something to be desired. The drummer isn't bad, but the guitars are so good you don't even pay attention to the drummer. I suppose even if they had a great drummer it would only take aways from how good the guitrs sound, but just don't expect fantastic drumming. Finally, the vocalist's range is anything to write home about. He picks his spots, and it's works, but he's not the best.
To sum things up, this is a great album. It's pure brutal, technical metal. It doesn't try to be this and that, and doesn't rely on cheap tricks. The guitars and production are excellent and it's holds ups very well after multiple listens. Basically evey track is outstanding. You can hear the quality that went into this album. These guys should be something to look out for in the future. THIS is how you make a debut album.