Against the Seasons
: Cold Winter
Songs from the Dead
Summer Heat is one of those albums that is primarily enjoyable due to the atmosphere. It's got that great forest atmosphere that's easy to get lost within.
Woods of Ypres play a hybrid between Melodic Black Metal
and Doom Metal
although on Against the Seasons
... the Doom
influences aren't as pronounced as their latter works. This isn't typical Melodic Black Metal
, it doesn't sound like Dissection
, Against the Seasons
... is much more closely aligned to a band like Agalloch
's not to say they sound very similar, Woods of Ypres have their own unique flare.
The music on display here is slow to mid paced Black Metal
with lots of melody thrown in, acoustic breaks and clean vocals are used quite often as well which really emphasises the Agalloch
comparison though the music isn't as folk influenced as them. The music is full of great melodies and hooks so as to keep the listener entertained. My attention never wavered throughout the duration of this album whatsoever, hopefully this shows that this is indeed a great album! Riff
wise this isn't technical at all but it doesn't need to be, the riffs are well written and have loads of melody to them. When the acoustic breaks are used they convey a lot of emotion and passion and work wonderfully in unison with the distorted guitars. I'd like to point out that this album is actually fairly original, I've never heard Melodic Black Metal
sound like this before. The closest band to this is Agalloch
but even then there are numerous differences between the two bands to easily identify between them.
The vocals are very good in my opinion. The harsh vocals are vicious and remind one of John Haughm (seriously I need to stop with the Agalloch
comparisons) but they're harsher and more abrasive than John's. The clean vocals is usually what makes or breaks an album for me but fortunately the clean vocals are great! His voice carries a lot of emotion and passion unlike that Doom
band that thoroughly irritates me. His voice has a good tone to it, deep but not too deep that it becomes laughable. They fit wonderfully in with the rest of the album.
The production on this album is good, everything can be heard perfectly although the bass is audible but it isn't that clear. The drums for me seem to be mixed a little too high, they're almost at the same volume as the guitars, it doesn't detract from the atmosphere though although at times it can get a little irritating but I don't notice it that much anyway.
Very rarely do bands create their best works on their first release but Woods of Ypres have done just do that, this is a very enjoyable album and one that I've been listening to quite frequently since I acquired it. This isn't the most diverse album (it's easy to tell the songs apart though don't worry) but it doesn't have to be, the music is of such a high standard that I don't care. If you're into bands like Agalloch
or any other atmospherically poignant Black Metal
band then this album is for you. My only complaint is that it's too short and Woods of Ypres haven't done another release like this which is a real shame.
Overall Rating- 19/20
Best tracks- A Meeting Place and Time (actually the first song I heard from this band.)