The damnation game
Clearer and clearer
A walk on the sun
Ain't losing my
The tables are turned
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
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
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.
the Winterland artist page here at Rock n world