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CD Review
Winterland's Blind
by Robyn Wreighley 


Artist: Winterland 
Title: Blind  
Label: Self Produced 

The damnation game
Clearer and clearer
A walk on the sun
Everything counts
Snow falling
Ain't losing my mind Missing
The tables are turned

  Mercedes is not the only Heavy Metal export from Germany these days, take Winterland for instance. These German Rockers take the classic Progressive rock genre to a different level, whereas one may come to expect the vocals of a progressive rock bands to be sang in a high tenor or falsetto, Winterland’s Lead Vocalist Thorsten Fries  takes the low road, broadening the sub-genre with a deep baritone. Like other Progressive Rock artist such as Rush, QueensRyche, and Dream Theater the Musicianship is excellent. 

I was given the Winterland’s latest CD Blind to review as my first major assignment here at Rock n World. At first listen I was intrigued by the sound. I have long been a huge fan of Rush, Dream Theater, Queensryche, Triumph and other great Progressive Rock bands.  I will admit however that at first listen I was a bit taken aback by Thorsten Fries low vocals. After the initial melodic to heavy guitar intro of Blind's first track “The Damnation Game ”it would be natural to hear yet another rip off of Getty Lee’s patented falsetto. Instead the listener is treated to the deep melodic voice of Fries. It does take some getting used to, but after a couple of listens it is apparent that Winterland wouldn't work any other way.  

I would have to admit I am a sucker for stylish guitar work, and Winterland delivers. Stephan Hugo and Markus Pfeffer’s  guitar style is really the back bone of this groups carefully crafted sound.  They are aided of course by the more than able rhythm section of Drummer Chris Guckeisen and Bassist Holger Kuntz 

Of the remaining 11 songs, “ A Walk on the Sun”, “Snow Falling”, and “Everything Counts” made the deepest impression on me. A flashy Guitar solo opens “A Walk On the Sun” The thing  that really carries this song is the Jazzy rhythm guitars which are very prevalent. 
“Snow Falling” is a Ballad written about a fans reaction to hearing about the death of their musical hero.  The Musical Hero that inspired this song was Michael Hutchence of INXS.  This song really showcases the musical talent of Winterland, from the clean guitars, to the emotional vocals this song is an apt tribute to an artist who will be missed by fans throughout the world. 

Everything Counts is a great remake of the Depeche Mode classic, of course Winterland gave it a rock makeover. 

My overall impression of this group is that they are solid musicians, moreover if they can find a record company willing to gamble on their unique quality of Hard rock it would not be too far fetched to see them become a very influential  progressive rock band in the years ahead. 

Although their music is not for everyone, if you are a fan of Progressive Rock you will find all you have come to expect from the genre, with the added bonus of the unique and distinct vocals of Thorsten Fries that really set Winterland apart from other Progressive bands. 

Visit the Winterland artist page here at Rock n world 

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