Today, we have another young progressive metal, experimental band Winter Calling and their latest album Faces. With this album, as I believe, they challenged with themselves, with the limitations of music, songwriting, and the most recent recording techniques. And the result is, you should decide for yourself.
First of all, I really didn’t like the recording at all. It might sound great at first, but when you continue listening, it starts to annoy. Too much modification in the sound killed the naturalness and organic taste that it had. Although the instruments are not recorded clean enough, the bass and the vocal sound covers every other element, ruins the harmony and the balance. It shadows the music, the energy and most importantly, the feeling.
I must admit that the band put so much effort and time for this project. I respect them for this. After listening to Faces album -very carefully- several times, I thought I might get used to it and my feelings can change, but I was wrong. It’s not easy to simplify. The album starts with a small instrumental part like an intro, such as Metallica uses The Ecstasy of Gold on their every concert. Unlike many other bands do, they decided, to begin with, a mid-tempo song after the exciting, unique intro part. A lady vocalist accompanies their main vocalist Chris Hodges on this song and brings a little bit symphonic rock/metal feeling to it.
Their second song “Not Like You” seems like Winter Calling’s hit song of the Faces album. Chris is skilled, performing good and has the necessary voice for this kind of music. I liked his style of singing, especially on this song. Drums sound Slipknot-ish and extremely electronic (Sorry guys, I hate electronic drum sound). Almost every hit and every kick sound the same on the album mix. Guitars are ok, there’s nothing unusual, as well as there’s nothing special about them. Long progressive riffage, too many changes, it is hard to stay with the song, and again, too many modifications.
They have big Tesseract influence indeed, there’s nothing bad about it. The genre is extremely challenging and doesn’t accept any mistakes. And after listening to their full album, there’s not even single melody left in my mind. You have to be skilled, determined and sure enough with what you want, which I didn’t find them creative enough, it is your duty to prove me and everybody wrong, and stick to what you do such as Dream Theater and Mastodon.
I don’t like criticizing at all. I believe in pointing out weaknesses for them to work on. This music is not something that anybody can create, so they should know their strong and weak sides and work harder in order to become the ultimate Winter Calling!
Listen to Winter Calling’s amazing videos below and feel free to comment!
Band/Artist: Winter Calling
Location: Sarasota / Tampa Florida
Styles: Progressive Rock, Hard Rock, Melodic Metal
Similar to/RIYL: Evergrey, Symphony X, Avenged Sevenfold, Circus Maximus, Masterplan
Chris Hodges – Vocals
Ian Medhurst – Guitar
Tim Gilbreath – Bass
Wayne Hoefle – Drums, Piano & Keys