has returned, hard and heavier, with their second album, called “Dark Palace
of Waterfalls”. We’ve been hearing about this album for a long, long time now and after listening to this album, it truly was worth the wait. It’s very clear that the band has been spending a large amount of time practicing and honing their music into something that’s not only palatable, but actually surpasses my expectations.
Their first album (Where the Souls Wander) was o.k. at best and what I personally felt was a little less par for beginning garage band quality. But to get hit over the head with something that almost contends with big name bands is a total mind freak.
First off, this album is very loud. It was mixed and mastered by Jay Frigoletto (who is known for his work on the X-men 2 soundtrack and working with bands like Shadows Fall
and Damage Plan). The drumming has improved quite a bit. There’s still a little roughness there but he’s more diverse and in time. Given who did the mixing, it’s no surprise the drums sound great. The drums are prominent with a nice bright snare and a kick drum sound equal to Cradle Of Filth
. Coupled with a very heavy, tight bass, the album’s low end will please anyone who likes to crank up their car stereo.
The second thing that just knocks me down is these guys got a 22-piece orchestra on a few of their songs. That
’s something that’s usually reserved only for European bands, not American. And
especially not from this part of the country. Their guitarist, Dave Martin, is a vast improvement in the band. He knows how to keep his guitar tone rooted with an old school feel. While he demonstrates his clear ability to shred, he doesn’t kill the songs with overdone leads.
Their keyboardist/Violinist, Roy Adams, has also gained some chops on his end. He even breaks out with a faux guitar solo on the title track that reminds me of something Dream Theater
would do. He also wrote and conducted for the symphony, how about that ? He demonstrates that he can really bring one to tears of sorrow with the instrumental track, Fathoms
All I can think of while listening to it is a powerful slow-motion death scene in the midst of an epic battle. Another instrumental track that pulls off the battle scenario feel is Dead
River. Diana Adams (formerly Die Winters
) has really come quite a long way. Not only is she still the vocalist, she’s now the band’s bassist. Her vocal styles have become far more advanced. On the title track, she pulls off some basic clean vocals that are satisfactory but it’s the total death growls that grab you. Her growls have developed into something very similar to that of Behemoth
and Dimmu Borgir
. On their dramatic ballet, In Gods’ Eyes
, she pulls off the vocal style of Ingrid Pitt on Cradle Of Filth
’s Cruelty And The Beast
In closing, this album is definatly going to make waves and turn some heads. Anyone who is into modern black metal and the melodic epic metal will enjoy this release. I’m reminded of Therion
in the way their first album was very shabby with poor recording. And
over the coarse of time, because a highly respected band with top production quality. If 13 Winters
keeps this up, I can easily see them walking the same road.