WINTER AXE
Impious Circle (EP 2015) By xDemoNx

Winter Axe is a two member band from the U.S.A. which is active since 2002. Despite all those years into music, they have managed to release only two demos and two EPs. Some time ago, specifically in July of 2015, they return with their second EP which is called “Impious Circle” and it contains three Metal tracks and one instrumental of overall duration of about fourteen minutes. The band says that it belongs into Black Viking Metal, something that does not appears into this release. The compositions contained into “Impious Circle” present to us a melodic Metal which puts out a nostalgic, warm, romantic and bright emotions. The only resemblance of this album with Black Metal is the harsh vocals. But let’s start from the beginning.

The riffs are rhythmic and absolutely melodic while there are one or two parts in which they become somehow faster without changing the feeling. Both their structure and their technic is quite simple and their purpose is to offer images and feelings to the listener, something that they do quite well. It seems that their creator is trying to give variety and to avoid repeating the same riffs or the same ideas, something that he achieves to do well enough, if we also consider the very simple, maybe minimalistic approach that he has while composing. Possibly, there would have been problems if he had the same approach for a longer album, but this does not concern this release. Without reading the lyrics, the images that will come to your mind are images from forests with dense vegetation, lakes, rivers and generally images from nature with bright colours and a lot of light. The ruling sentiment is the sweet melancholy which gives a more dramatic side of the tracks. The compositions are satisfying, regarding their size, as also the ideas are presented thoroughly but without becoming tedious. So the listener can easily get into and experience this sort but beautiful experience that the band is offering him.

The instruments don’t have anything intense or different that will catch your attention. They are so minimalistic and played simple as much as the riffs. The guitar is the main instrument and everything is rotating around it into the album. The guitar is the one that will pass the feeling and will create the images with their clean and warm sound and their sweet style of playing. Some keyboards here and there add more life and feeling to the compositions. The bass is clear and audible, while it fills the sound nicely and without creating problems to the clean – atmospheric element of the guitar. The drums along with the vocals are the two worst elements of the album. On one hand the lines of the drums are absolutely simple and repetitive while their sound is too monotonous. They give you the impression that they come from a drum machine. On the other hand the vocals are harsh but distorted and dirty made by technical ways something that make them sound disconnected with the overall feeling of the album. The production is clean and warm while the sound that is coming out is warm - melancholic. The mixture is quite good as it has highlighted the guitar, while the other instruments are distinct too. Finally the lyrics are written in English and they are contained into the cd that I received, while they describe their thoughts about religion, war and they narrate epic stories.

I think that the new effort of Winter Axe has some good elements but also some annoying ones. Surely the feeling and the images that they can create and offer to the listener are very vivid and intense. On the contrary, the problems that I mentioned earlier regarding the drums and the vocals can become the element that will distract the listener so much so that he cannot receive all those things that the compositions can offer. Those of you who are searching for melodic, warm Metal with Black vocals, listen to it. The rest of you avoid it.

1. Silenced 02:57
2. And I Will See Forever 03:35
3. Blood For Blood 04:59
4. Impious Circles 02:10