I have kept my eye on Winterhorde since their highly acclaimed album “Underwater Moon” was released back in 2010. The long silence had made me wonder when they will eventually release the next one as there have been talks of a new album several years after that, and to my surprise, not many had been talking about this band. When I opened my e-mail to check our review list I was astonished to see their name appear on our list. To my excitement I quickly asked our postman to have this CD delivered to my door as soon as possible. I rarely do that! And when it arrived, I knew the wait was all worth it.
Winterhorde‘s line-up has had many changes in the past and this time almost entirely. From the former album only two members returned – their bass player Sascha “Celestial” Latman and their keyboard player Alexander “Morgenrot” Feldman. The band is reunited once again with their original vocalist Z. Winter and joining him is Ig Kun who has provided the clean vocals.
The gap in the evolution of the band is immense and others may disagree with me and would prefer their previous release, but I believe “Maestro” is by far their greatest work up-to-date. It has the strengths of both “Nebula” and “Underwater Moon” plus a great deal of new cacophony that would engulf your senses. Winterhorde clearly have an overflowing vision with this release and they are stepping up their game to another level – carrying forward with the musical expertise of the new members and the help of veterans in the music industry; This album has been produced and mixed by V.Santura (Dark Fortress, Obscura, Paradox, Tryptikon) and mastered by the renowned Jen Borgen (Myrath, Opeth, Devin Townsend, Symphony X, Soilwork).
“Maestro” highly orchestrates a more classical side of the band. The progressive, extreme and black metal sounds are accentuated in an enormously theatrical and harmoniously dark mode. This album depicts an exceptionally creative twist of extreme metal, an interpretation that you do not hear so often and it came out beautifully. This album will take you on a journey and I must say I truly feel like I have traveled listening to this. Speaking of traveling, this album has traveled from Northern Israel, to Germany, Sweden, Denmark then to Finland to reach me, amazing.
In 2001, going from sounding black metal (for the most part), joining the bandwagon of going for the easy fast songs and repetitive blast beats to what I can now observe as matured musicians who have not only found their sound but are capable of articulating and fully expressing their ideas. It continues to boggle my mind that not many have heard of this band. If playing in many European festivals and “Underwater Moon” has not served to make them a household name yet, this album surely will. If it is the first you are hearing of this band, let me introduce to you ladies and gents: Winterhorde from Israel – progressive extreme metal at its finest.
01. That Night in Prague (01:39) Instrumental
02. Antipath (05:56)
03. Worms of Souls (05:34)
04. They Came with Eyes of Fire (06:27)
05. Chronic Death (06:24)
06. The Heart of Coryphee (11:30)
07. A Dying Swan (02:45) Instrumental
08. Maestro (07:14)
09. Through the Broken Mirror (04:34)
10. Cold (05:56)
11. Dancing in Flames (07:12)
Playing Time: 01:05:11
Release date:┬áMay 20, 2016
Label: ViciSolum Productions