Sunday, December 21, 2014

Winter Nights - "An Endless Apocalypse

Winter Nights are a 4 piece, melodic death band from NYC who have recently released their debut full length album "An Endless Apocalypse". After the symphonic, string arrangement intro "Uprise and Fall" sets the dark, grim mood for this disk, the album's title track blasts into hyper-gear with frenzied tremolo picking and furious 
blasting on the drums. This track showcases a plethora of riffs and tempo changes accompanied by deep, growling vocals. The groovy break at the midway point, with it's melodic lead guitar lines, show Winter Nights to have more in common with the contemporary Scandinavian sound than with any of their New York peers musically. "In Nuclear Winter" has a more of a viking metal vibe throughout, with it's evil double-timed riffing and the bass-line break with it's spoken verse. This sounds like the lost track Amon Amarth forgot to put on their debut album "Once Sent From The Golden Hall". "A Dark Awakening" is another mead chugging, viking metal anthem. Neck-snapping rythms and pounding drums pulsate throughout this track. I hate to use the overused word EPIC here, but the break that begins at 3:10 is exactly that, a perfect tribute to the gods looking down on us from valhalla. The almost 7 minute "Winter Nights" creeps in with it's mellow intro, but quickly brings the heaviness with it's catchy verse and chorus riffs. There is an old school Swedish metal vibe to this song, think early In Flames meets modern Hypocrisy, very catchy and very brutal while still keeping tons of melody with frontman Jeremy's snarling vocals painting a hellish landscape. "The Doomsday Code" is another neck snapping riff fest, if I had hair, I'd surely be windmilling my locks along to this track. I get a bit more of a thrash and power metal vibe from this track, the tight guitar attack calls to mind early Iced Earth and stands toe to toe with some of Jon Schaefer's best riff work. "The Pledge" is one of the most powerful tracks on this release. Unrelenting guitar lines are delivered with blazing speed and the drums gallop along with a sense of urgency. Complicated tempo changes give way to progressive passages and the band shifts their timing seamlessly from riff to riff. If Chuck Schuldiner ever jammed with Amon Amarth, the audio result would be something eerily close to "The Pleasures Of War". This track is pure, classic death metal combined with a modern day, Swedish attitude and some mid 80's thrash thrown in to boot. The guitar solo in this track is especially face-melting and it's almost impossible not to bang your head to the riff behind it. "Deceptive Dreams" closes the album out and in my opinion this is the track where Winter Nights throw all their cards on the table. There's a bit of everything, clean intro, screaming leads, catchy guitar lines, anthemic riffs, frantic black metal and more tempo changes than you can shake an empty mead horn at. If ever there was a heavy metal soundtrack to a viking clan raiding, pillaging and burning a town down to the ground, this song and as a whole this album would be it. If you like your death metal melodic, then "An Endless Apocalypse" needs to be a part of your music collection. This band may hail from the streets of NYC, but after listening to this album I'm convinced Winter Nights sailed here from Scandinavia in a giant ship to claim New York as their raiding territory! You can find Winter Nights online at and hit them up for a physical copy of "An Endless Apocalypse". You can also find them on Twitter, Youtube, Bandcamp and Reverbnation as well.