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Winters Bane: Redivivus

Winters Bane is back, and on their third release Redivivus they have a new vocalist in Alexander Koch (Spiral Tower, Powergod). He's not nearly the equal of their first singer, Tim "Ripper" Owens (currently in Iced Earth and Beyond Fear), but he's still pretty good, and the speed and sheer power of the release more than make up the difference.

This is veritably a balls-out slab of American power metal, with hardly any filler across its nine tracks and 40 minutes. The opener "Seal the Light" is a fastball, bolting out of the gate with screaming guitar solos, and from then on in, the album hardly lets up. "Spark to Flame" is a mid-paced Iced Earth-styled song with a fat bottom-end and laced with John Oliva-style howls, and the energetic "Catching the Sun" starts out with even more fast solos. "Remember to Forget" is one of the slowest tracks and features a strong melodic element, closing out with a short machine-gun burst of drums. "Burning Bridges" is another hard and heavy fastball with a catchy chorus, one you'll want to crank the volume up a notch or two. Mark Cross really pounded the skins hard with "Waves of Fury", and the album closes out with another 3 1/2 minute lightning bolt, "Despise the Lie," and then it's over. A solid effort and a strong comeback.

Track Listing
1 Seal the Light
2 Spark to Flame
3 The World
4 Dead Faith
5 Catching the Sun
6 Remember to Forget
7 Burning Bridges
8 Waves of Fury
9 Despise the Lie

Added: April 23rd 2007
Reviewer: John Larocque
Related Link: Winters Bane Website
Hits: 4646
Language: english

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Winters Bane: Redivivus
Posted by Murat Batmaz, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-04-23 06:15:29
My Score:

The name Winters Bane definitely became most known because of their original singer Tim Owens joining Judas Priest and Iced Earth respectively. The album they released with Owens still ranks high on my metalheads' favourites lists, being a strong balance of American power metal and face-ripping speed metal with nods to Owens' influences. After the debut, they released Girth, a thrashier album, and while good by its own merits, the band's fans yearned for a return to their earlier material.

Redivivus sees the band revisiting their more traditional metal roots, but there is still a good amount of instrumental dexterity present on these songs boasting excellent melodic and thrasy guitar work by original member Lou St. Paul. The rhythm section also sees the addition of former Metalium drummer Mark Cross who puts in a great performance. They've also recruited former Powergod vocalist Alexander Koch (now sadly replaced by another vocalist) who also fronts the progressive metal band Scenes. Having heard his albums with both bands, I am surprised at his diversity and ability to snap into a more Warrel Dane-like beast, and portraying a wide range of moods. It is amazing how effortlessly he is able to shift between styles: from the high-pitched power metal screaming of "Catching the Sun", imbued with a blazing lead solo and killer backing harmony; to the thrashy "Spark to Flame" and mercilessly heavy "Dead Faith", he proves how versatile he truly is. On the former he sings like a demented Warrel Dane circa Sanctuary, but the arrangement and guitar riffery is more akin to modern day Nevermore. "Remember to Forget" is an angry rocker, with crushing guitar and bass, and Koch even recalls the great Tim Owens during the high register vocal parts. Winters Bane also presents classic speed metal numbers like "Seal the Light" and "Burning Bridges", both marked by shred-intensive fretwork and thematically alike arrangements. Jeff Welch on bass is a monster on his instrument, thickening St. Paul's ferocious rhythm crunch through and through. The drumming on this piece is easily the highlight and kudos to St. Paul for having developed a unique melodic signature that sets him apart from most other shredders.

It will be interesting to observe them with their new singer on their next album. Let's hope it will be another winner.

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