WINTERMOON
Autarky (2012) By xDemoNx

Wintermoon is a new band which was formed in 2012, they come from France and they consist of two members. “Autarky” EP is their first release which was released some time ago (April 2012) and it contains three Black Metal tracks of their own, one cover of Immortal’s track, “Wrath from Above”, and one instrumental-atmospheric track. The duration of the album is about thirty minutes. As they mention, their influences, as it seems also by the cover, clearly come from Immortal with some references to the epic sound of Bathory, and although in the beginning of the listen I was somehow skeptical, their ideas made my doubts about the EP disappear.

The riffs mostly are fast and staccato, in the exactly same style as the riffing of Immortal. Also we will find harsh parts with lengthy riffs, as also epic Bathory-like but in a lot less frequency. The melodies are quite interesting, there are quite a lot of changes and a very good structure of the tracks which maintain the listeners attention to the end. The guitars, as it seems, are the ruling instrument of the compositions and the main one of Gryp, the man responsible also for the vocals and the drums, they are played without mistakes, with much passion and feeling. What may annoy the listener is their recording as in many parts you can listen to the characteristic strumming of the guitar’s chords, something very annoying. The bass fills the tracks nicely but its lines can’t be clearly heard. The drums, although in some parts their sound reminded me of a drum machine, I think they are real, they have very powerful and interesting lines and they offer stability and certainty.

The vocals are harsh Black Metal. Something else that annoyed me much is their volume. They are very low in the mixture and the listener has to make an effort to listen to them, something also annoying after a while. The production is bassy and clean and it puts out a very good result. The mixture although it puts out a massive sound, the mistake with the vocals which can hardly be heard, ruins the atmosphere and the delight of the album. The lyrics are written in English and they are quite influenced by the style of Immortal. They speak about nature, ancient gods and spirits etc.

Generally I think that “Autarky” is a good effort with its strong point but also with its weaknesses. Surely the riffs are much alike with the bands mentioned above, but they are interesting and they are the result of creative influences and not of just copying. What was really annoying was the strumming of the chords and the very low volume of the vocals. With small changes and a little attention to the mistakes, it could have been a very good release, however it is a good choice for all the fans of Norwegian Black Metal to listen. But for sure listen to it before you buy.

1. Horizons of Old Beliefs 04:42
2. Autarkic Black Metal 06:46
3. Cold and Ice 06:06
4. Wrath from Above (Immortal's Cover) 06:06
5. Under the Fullmoon's Light 03:12