Winter Solstice - The Fall
by Joannie Foney
Ri fi jeffer suh vuh suff! Is a universal
sentiment I'm sure we all agree with. Having said that mouthful, rest assured
that the vocalist for the most excellent thrash band, Winter Solstice,
sings many other pithy truisms along those lines.
I don't know about you, but I like my
metal to thrash & amuse me at the same time. As I was chortling over
how incomprehensible Matt Tarpey's singing was, even while singing &
speaking rather than screaming, I was checking out their website. What
an excellent idea for an album! These guys aren't morons!! This release
is centered around the fall of the Roman Empire & how eerily similar
today's America is to yesterday's Rome. Think about that, we got the same
welfare system, the same obsession with entertainment, the same national
arrogance about everything, the same everything. If a brilliant concept
album & hysterically funny vocals were all Winter Solstice had to offer,
I'd still want you to rush out & buy this album, and reward these guys
for encouraging you to think along these true & chilling lines, no
sense just banging your head, use your brain while thrashing! Do this while
having a good laugh as you discover these guys in their infancy.
Thankfully, there is so much musical excellence
on here that humor & intellect aren't the only forces operating behind
the scenes. Y'know, I'm such the wrong person to review thrash albums,
I just love it all. I'm a sucker for this type of stuff, release a thrash
album, I guarantee I'll slobber all over it. But this album is really good,
even if you hated thrash you'd have to admit it! (Probably). The guitars
sound like Slayer on major speed, the arrangements are clever & creative,
the breaks are good, the phrasings are totally unique, there is so much
variety & excellence crammed into the first half of the first song
I am amazed all the members of the band even managed to finish the entire
song rather than just collapsing into an exhausted heap midway through
it. I wonder if they had to take a month to record each song, to be sure
they got enough rest in between? I wonder if part of their recording budget
included an ambulance & cardiologist on standby to revive them in case
of heart failure or collapse? I wonder how they manage to play their instruments
when their fingers are numb & tingling from Carpal Tunnel, and I wonder
how old they were when this debilitating syndrome set in?
The 2nd song "Calibrate The Virus" featured
Matt's speaking a portion of the song. Amazingly, it was hard to figure
out even what he was saying even then. This is a strong song, though, with
incredibly fast everything. It's the skill of the others in the band that
results in the focus being on the music, rather than on the vocals. " Watcher"
had such an interesting intro that made this song memorable to me. By the
fourth song, "Courtesy Bow," I was starting to feel guilty about cracking
on the guy's vocals. Maybe he's from another country? No, guess not. Every
song on here is original sounding, very well executed, & impressive.
This is a CD I will be playing for a long time & recommending. The
title track almost doesn't fit, it's just too pretty. It just goes to prove
these guys diversity & ability to play their chosen weapons well, not
at just the bone breaking stuff, but at the lighter stuff too. As far as
that thought is concerned, it fits well with the overall album. "Malice
In Wonderland " was so catchy I wondered how they managed to write something
like this- they don't want to be dismissed as fast noise, that's not what
they're all about.
To listen to the entire album in one sitting
is a hard thing to do. With 3 songs to go I was tired of listening to it,
really tired. There is so much energy crammed in this it just makes me
exhausted listening to it. I didn't hear a single borrowed note anywhere
on here, the instruments are all played very well, by pros who know what
they're doing. Some make this kinda music look easy, Winter Solstice makes
it sound too hard, too fast, too complicated for mere amateurs to bother.
They play so well together, none of them lags behind the others or tries
to outdo their band mates. Even the funny vocals fit this band perfectly.
I don't mind this style of vocals, it goes with the territory. But still,
to come up with such a brilliant idea to write songs based on, then not
sing them so listeners can be dazzled by the lyrics was an odd decision.
But, then again, look at sucktallica, so quick to bend over & cater
to every moron with an opinion & lotsa money in their quest for fame
& fortune, WS would be wise to just keep doing what obviously sounds
perfect for them.
I don't know how many stars to give it-
a bunch; but I'm so biased that just wouldn't be right. Well, 3 1/2 is
Solstice - The Fall Of Rome
1. Following Caligula
2. Calibrate The Virus
4. Courtesy Bow
5. The Fall Of Rome
6. Malice In Wonderland
8. The Hampton Roads Fourth Annual Parade
Of The Blind
9. To The Nines
to samples and Purchase this CD online
the Official Website to learn more about the band
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